Wattwanderung / Low Tide Wandering
The work Wattwanderung / Low Tide Wandering – whose title underscores notions of roaming and discovery – consists of 138 separate etchings which are suspended from taut wires. Images of the sea are associated with ebbs and flows and with the transition from one picture to the next. The most common motifs are the portrait, women, and flowers, themes consistently present for years in the works of Thomas Schütte (born in 1954, lives in Düsseldorf). The individual sheets are conceived as a kind of journal by means of which the artist records the dramatic and banal events of everyday life in 2001.
Many of the etchings are accompanied by texts whose wordplay allows the artist to pose questions on serious issues: "Desaster des Friedens" (Disaster of peace), "Wie sieht eine Seele aus" (What does a soul look like), "Ground zero wie geht es weiter" (Ground Zero, what next), and "Atmen nicht vergessen" (Don't forget to breathe). The pictures and texts trigger associations, evoking images from the viewer’s own world. While journeying through the series, passive contemplation gives way to an active mode of reception, and the beholder necessarily adopts a position.