German artist Tobias Rehberger (Esslingen, 1966) is a leading figure in the field of contemporary art today. Although rooted within the conceptual framework of sculpture, his works frequently “happen” on the intersection between what is traditionally considered visual art, design, and architecture, challenging thus art’s conventional understanding, classification, authenticity, and the romantic notion of the artist.
Using light, as an essential and reoccurring component in his practice, AFTER THIS POINT VIOLATORS (FREE NOT AFRAID), 2016, – a sizeable flickering lightbox sculpture -, looks at the cognitive side of art and the way an artwork is consumed and communicates with its/to its spectator. Following the aesthetic of an imperfect, or even broken object, where some of the neon’s letters fall off the line, and parts of the neon fail to switch on, the sculpture points to the thin line between what is considered a complete and an incomplete work of art, a work that is functional or dysfunctional, perfect or damaged. AFTER THIS POINT VIOLATORS (FREE NOT AFRAID) question traditional understanding and expectation of art as a perfect and unique object while challenging established modes of perception, awareness, and temporality, creating a sense of transience, discontinuity, and ambiguity.