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  • Doppeldenk exhibition pretty portal

DOPPELDENK Artist Duo Showing Their Interpretation of Numbers in Dusseldorf Exhibition

November 23, 2015

Are you familiar with the term “nomen est omen”? It is a belief that there is an important connection between a person’s name and its omen, that somehow someone’s name will be decisive factor of her or his destiny. This belief originates from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome (“nomen est omen” is in Latin), and it was later taken by many ethnic groups and nationalities. Back in the days when there was a large infant mortality, like in the Middle ages, in some Slavic countries babies were being given names after some strong, frightening animal, like wolf, in order to “scare” the death away. While this certainly wasn’t the case with the artistic duo DOPPELDENK, it seems that their name has determined the characteristics of their art.

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Left: Doppeldenk – Flamingo, 2015. 90x120cm / Right: Doppeldenk – 2DR2, 2015. 90x120cm

Orwell’s Doublethink

Marcel Baer and Andreas Glauch are the artistic duo that makes DOPPELDENK, artistic collective from Leipzig, Germany. And what does “doppeldenk” mean? It’s the German expression for “doublethink”, the term that was first brought up by the famous George Orwell, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, among other masterpieces (Down and Out in Paris and London from 1933 being another one). But, what is doublethink? If you have read the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, you will remember that doublethink was a “quality” that totalitarian government in this dystopia fostered among the citizens – the ability of citizens to accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. Or, as Orwell had said in Ninety Eighty-Four: “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary”.

Doppeldenk exhibition pretty portal
Doppeldenk – 1984

Subversive and Charming Work

In a similar manner, Marcel Baer and Andreas Glauch are creating their art. On the surface, their work is a flashy, multicolored, alluring and charming version of pop art, with sub-cultural themes that, at first glance, look very familiar. But, when you give their works a longer and deeper look, you’ll notice how much Baer’s and Glauch’s art is actually subversive. This way, both impressions, although are contradicting one another, reside in a single artwork, and we accept them both. Orwell would have been proud with this doublethink, or – doppeldenk.

Doppeldenk exhibition pretty portal
Doppeldenk – 1984, 2014. 100x100cm

DOPPELDENK at Pretty Portal Gallery

The artistic collective DOPPELDENK will present their works the exhibition titled NUMBERS, that will take place at Pretty Portal gallery in Düsseldorf. In a way, numbers also have a hint of doublethink – they have clear values, and they could also be used for the whole range of manipulations. They are symbols, and also they could stand for ideas and concepts. At the same time, numbers are in a way connected to the city of Düsseldorf: back in 1981, a German electronic music band called Kraftwerk created an album named Computer World in Düsseldorf, with one of the songs on the album being – “Numbers”. The exhibition NUMBERS by DOPPELDENK will be open on December 4th at Pretty Portal gallery, and will be open until January 22nd.

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All images courtesy of the gallery and the artists.