Mental journey

Philipp Goldbach – Tristes Tropiques (C. Lévi-Strauss)

Philipp Goldbach, Tristes Tropiques (C. Lévi-Strauss), 2017, pencil on paper, 192,5 x 150 cm, Pangea Foundation Amsterdam, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020 & Philipp Goldbach

The large-format paper works by Philipp Goldbach confront the viewers with minuscule pencil hand writing of only a few millimeters in size. Only barely decipherable up close, the lines blur to a striped grey surface from a distance. 

In this series of micrograms, on which the artist has been repeatedly working since 2006, he copies handwritten travelogues from the early 19th and 20th centuries. The works revolve around the reflections on the colonial aspirations of the Europeans and the human struggle with nature. Goldbach reproduces these journeys in his imagination and gives the texts of the explorers a new form through the vibrant, vivid surface. Therefore, they can be experienced in their entirety.