A note from a viewer (on the works of Timo Kube)

Somewhere, between seeing and believing, the works by Timo Kube investigate material in its tangibility but more so in its very experiencing, or appearance. A philosophical, or more particularly phenomenological weight runs throughout, so there is sense of investigation in the thing itself, the work of art opening a look at presence. Conversely, what is also brought to attention are the ways in which the material, its subjectivity comes to effect the viewer, specifically the limitations of perception, and understanding of the encounter the thing, and the world(s) that follow.

Curtain III

What if the materials, embodied in everyday, and familiar objects protest to one’s ability to understand, compose concepts, and so unveil the meaning involved in the most simplest of comprehension? Kube’s works, in part offer no resolve other than positioning us as viewers; we may be able to look at what is represented but not into, or inside; the thing never presents, its presence reserved by the opacity of its material surface. We are outsiders, as one is to all works of art – in turn, per chance if there is a beauty to be experienced it is seldom acquired, a matter of meditation, a slow inspection. To find such experience the investigation, or better chance encounter comes not so much in forms of grand displays, overwhelming one with a massive sculptural volume, which is why his subject matter stresses that which is closest, most common, too familiar, passed barely unnoticed. Additionally, his choice of functional items as subjects intensifies the fragile experience in its complexity; a window invites more than observation, as much as a door, inviting one to open. Ironically, the invitation is held up, the entrance too dark to peer into, the curtain obscuring what is ahead; such is the resistance to anything more than looking. Even silent, exemplified for instance in a concrete chest of drawers, the muteness of the object appears via its grey exterior. Our sense of the work, the experience, or even its sensation derives from a kind of single point of view, or seeing it from one side: outside… in. It seems that the only option of engaging (his) art is the predominant one, that of appreciating what the material bears, in other words believing in what qualities are present in the surface, be it canvas, or sculpted envelope.

Corridor X

His utilizing constructions that are almost too familiar in an everyday, or better functional context add to the hindering of comprehension: a plane window, or an office door. Despite such furnishings echoing simple spaces they provoke a slight miss-understanding, suggested by a distinct unfamiliarity: that these are barely unnoticeable constructions, or devices, while their non-usability marvels attention by the effects left to the surface, the material itself. Apart from the actual representation of the door it is the painted surface, its effect that charges the depiction as partly something to be missed, thus allowing the paint itself, its material appearance, the slightness of its presence to come closer to our appeal rather than the object. No extravagance is presented by the paint either, with its rather calm direction of application, or neutral palette – and this too is apparent in either clay, rubber, or other sources which Kube introduces, although, and it is beyond the length of this brief insight to dig further into how this is so. Paint is integral to Kube’s practice due to its kinship to where material, and understanding of things as such come at its closest, and perhaps offer most insight: in that recess of space that is so minimal, so narrow, as a mere surface. Here is a folding of meaning through, or out of materiality, a kind of waiting for an offering fluid from dry stone – when such a phenomenon occurs it would certainly be precious.

Perhaps it is in the restriction to entering the interiors covered by the work itself that Kube offers the mystery that artworks encapsulate, hold, and withhold. If artworks have a certain power in their grace, i.e. of purely giving an unexplainable, and unaccountable content, call it beauty even, than what one does is wait. Such is the place, position of the viewer.

Text by Robert Luzar
Winter, 2007


A note from a viewer (on the works of Timo Kube)
by Robert Luzar

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