Mathis Altmann: Amalgamate

This first overview of Altmann’s work to date, characterized by a strongly socio-critical consciousness, reveals the artist’s influences and inspirations.
Published in conjunction with an institutional survey at the Kunst Museum Winterthur, this is the artist’s first monograph. Mathis Altmann’s artistic strategy is formally based on the principle of the collage, which has a long tradition in art history, as does its three-dimensional form, the assemblage. In contrast with the reductionist tendencies of the modern period, the assemblage served to adamantly establish connections with the world by directly juxtaposing diverse items from everyday life: collages or assemblages are material reflections of the world, metaphors for the world. This tradition is expanded by Altmann using ephemeral media such as light and sound to firmly link them to the present. The French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and FĂ©lix Guattari use the term assemblage to describe unformed materials and fluidity that give access to new spaces by deciphering known territories or giving them new codes. Altmann does no less when he addresses the promises and codes of social media and consumer and commodity culture, translating them into his own world as Amalgamate, complex miniature worlds and room-sized installations.