Timur Si-Qin – New Peace Symmelith (sandstone to limestone transfer) 1 (2018)
Playing with ‘real’ forms that exist in nature and ones that are digitally manipulated is a typical feature of the practice of Timur Si-Qin (b. Berlin, Germany, 1984, lives and works in New York). He has a pioneering role within a young generation of artists who are associated with post-anthropocentric thinking and with 21st-century New Materialism. Si-Qin views materiality as a dynamic process. That which exists exerts a constant mutual influence on what we know about it. Humans and nature are symbiotic entities that represent and construct one another – with humans having influence on nature but natural processes also having self-organising powers.
The starting point of his oeuvre is the globalised, digital, image-saturated society, which according to Si-Qin is the product of human physiology, evolution and distribution. He believes that technology and culture are just as much products of nature as are, for example, seashells. Si-Qin’s German–Mongolian roots and his youth in Berlin, Beijing and in an Apache community in the United States have helped the artist to recognise globalised visual language more quickly.
Si-Qin is interested in what appeals to large groups of people about specific forms and signs, and he investigates the ways in which these have gained meaning throughout the ages. To do so, he uses the images of digital advertising, particularly because of the way this dominates the world today. He has devised his own brand logo, Peace, a combination of the yin-yang symbol, the Pepsi logo and the word peace, which represents the rejection of the distinction between nature and culture and also between spirituality and matter.
For Hybrids, Si-Qin had a modified scan of a boulder cut out of Savonnière, a soft French limestone, using a computer-controlled process. The modification consisted of the artist vertically slicing through the original scan and then mirroring one half and mounting these two halves together like a Rorschach image. Si-Qin made the dimensions of the boulder dependent on current technical limitations and the budget offered by Lustwarande. This resulted in a stone of around 40 cm high. In this case, reproduction resulted in reduction. Si-Qin placed the work in the park in such a way that it appeared to float and was also reminiscent of a computer rendering, in which creating the illusion of reality is still a complex process. The hybrid character of the boulder was further reinforced by the Peace logo. Everything, including nature, is becoming a consumer good, and this is a new religion.