NATTO – objects and photographs

NATTO is a typical thing Japanese eat for breakfast, very healthy but somewhat queer and disgusting for non-Japanese people. The natto could depict the way Margret Wibmer is gripping the viewer into attractive pictures, which yet reveal at second sight a certain shudder of fear and doubt about beauty of science, machines and the perspective of human changing into cyborgs. Margret Wibmer reacts towards current news we are witnessing, like cloning or robots’ artificial intelligence. She aims at raising the viewers awareness of their repulsion and phantasm about these new technologies. The term natto is also giving this taste of science-fiction, for it refers to Japanese mangas, and so invites the visitor to enter a world of senses and poetry, which gives a glimpse of future, its beauty and fantasy.

Margret Wibmer’s photographs and objects are indeed like manifestations of the future, inspired by the 50’s and 60’s imagery. The artist is particularly attached to this period, when vision of the new man was emerging into a technologized aesthetics. The artist picks up machines from this period and after having dismantled them, she freely changes their appearance to definitely destabilize their first function and belonging. These objects become the models of futuristic visions and the actors of sequences the artist is imagining in her photographs, like the black and white print 3. Stock. Zimmer 213. Here, intriguing anonymous persons are manipulating objects within a minimalist almost aseptic decor. They express an irresistible mystery, which becomes an obsession as the viewer cannot get the meaning of the photographs’ narration. The only escape is imagination.

Emilie Oursel

NATTO, 2007/2010, metal and fabric, 160 x 45 20 cm (photography: Anneke Hymmen)

Rehearsing Natto, 2008, lambdaprint on dibond, 80 x 75 cm, Ed. 5 + 1 AP

‘NATTO – objects and photographs’ (excerpt) by Emilie Oursel was written on the occasion of the exhibition Natto at Lumen Travo Gallery in 2007.