Chronicles from the Habitable Zone

2 November - 14 December 2023

Lightcurve Variations 16 (Space documents series), pencil on paper, 42X28 cm, 2023

Artist: Norbert Filep

Location: Sector 1 Gallery

The new solo exhibition by artist Norbert Filep, Chronicles from the Habitable Zone, presents conceptual works from three new series starting from phenomena, discoveries, measurements and observations in the field of astronomy. Through a personal ‘de-click’, the artist attempts a possible subjectivization of the scientific results that affirm, with immeasurable truth, the existence of a complex process in the astronomical field. At the same time, the works incorporate the intrinsic curiosity of human nature, to discover the vast dimension and plurivalence of the universe we belong to.

In the last years, Norbert Filep’s practice focused on using drawing to create abstract compositions. For Chronicles from the Habitable Zone, the artist resorts again to his favourite medium and codifies scientific information under new artistic forms. Particularly, he leans in on the field of astronomy and on the technological processes used to obtain and read data outside our solar system.

The simple and direct character of drawing as a medium coincides with the minimalistic and objective aspect of data found in the tables that measure the light transit of planets. They “draw” with their shadow abstract lines through which different characteristics are determined: size, chemical composition, mass and the time interval during which an orbital cycle ends. These measurements are then used by Filep as starting points for the works. The paper transcends its support status and becomes part of the Cartesian system. In this manner, the XY coordinate system used for extracting the information results from the measurements of the Kepler telescope, for example. The same graphic is handled with repetitive meticulousness in the series of works Spatial documents, where through the accumulation of curving lines, spatial illusions of the transit phenomenon are created. Works such as Trappist-1e or Luyten B use the information attributed to the planets of the same name. The works represent the greatly reduced size of the planets constructed entirely of the figure describing the distance from Earth to them, located at various light-year distances from Earth.

Technological limitations in extra-planetary exploration generate information in an archaic form, which is for Norbert Filep a subject for archiving in the form of the drawing, concretized as an alteration of the boundary between objectivity and subjectivity. In this way, the objective information of astronomical research becomes a tool of artistic subjectivity, where interpretations remain correlated with an open play space and freed from the objective dimension of these types of information.

Installation views

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