The basic material of the works of Gregor Hildebrandt is recorded tape of audio and video cassettes that he glues on canvas, painstakingly, strip by strip. On occasion he installs the tape as a widespread black fluttering membrane. Thus, the music on the tapes takes the form of a score whose rhythm results from the arrangement of the material. The temporal dimension of music is transformed into a spatial one, namely, into the perception of a picture.
Concerning form, the black monochrome surfaces are reminiscent of both Minimalism and Conceptual Art of the 60s and 70s. Nevertheless, the sternness of the rhythm and the conceptual use of the material are undermined again and again. By adding text, pictures, and objects Hildebrandt connects his pictures with the underground culture of the 80s whose sometimes subversive codes were not intended to be intelligible to all.
Most of the titles, embedded texts and objects provide hidden clues to certain songs, lyrics, movies, or parties. For those who are familiar with the underlying frame of reference these clues evoke the song. If the song is remembered it becomes, so to speak, the soundtrack of the picture - in addition to its visual dimension. The conceptual aspect in Hildebrandt’s work becomes apparent through this refusal of visibility. Instead of a mere pictorial phenomenon, the subversive power of an invisible code of a counter culture is at work, which cannot be recognized by all.
Gregor Hildebrandt, born in 1974 in Bad Homburg, lives in Berlin since 1998 where he studied at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Recently his works were to be seen at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, USA, at Kunstverein Schwerte, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, and at Kestnergesellschaft Hannover, to name just a few. He was awarded Vattenfall-Kunstpreis Energie 2008.