• German
  • English

Bombarding all Senses

Paul Renner

CALF’S HEAD, FROG THIGH STEW, HERMAPHRODITE SORREL…the idea of the over­all work of art of artist Paul Ren­ner can be inter­pre­ted as exci­tin­g­ly dif­fe­rent now and again; his ‘Thea­trum Ana­to­mic­um’ and ‘Ver­bo­te­ne Wirts­haus’ made an inter­na­tio­nal splash. The artist from the Vor­arl­berg regi­on is at home in Bre­gen­zer­wald and near Nap­les as well as in the who­le world, and inter­prets tra­vel­ling as a semi­nal con­tri­bu­ti­on to his art. ‘Coo­king, pain­ting, wri­ting musi­cal scores, crea­ting sculp­tures isn’t all it boils down to; tra­vel­ling is just as important, for it allows you to gather impres­si­ons to deve­lop your crea­ti­vi­ty.’ He’s tra­vel­led around 20 mys­ti­cal loca­ti­ons in Euro­pe with his ‘The Hell Fire Tou­ring Club’ and enjoy­ed expe­ri­en­ces which sca­red him, pos­ses­sed him, and allo­wed him to over­co­me his limi­ta­ti­ons, but that’s exact­ly what art should do accord­ing to Paul Renner.


Our paths are gui­ded in such an auto­ma­ted way, that we can only regu­la­te them by being sho­cked via art‘. Ren­ner is par­ti­cu­lar­ly keen when he doesn’t under­stand some­thing. His decisi­on to walk the path of an artist cau­sed qui­te an upro­ar back at home, as his par­ents were some­what extre­mist in their views. ‘My mother was a Nazi, Oberg­au­füh­re­rin, and my father was part of the resis­tance. I expe­ri­en­ced this sur­re­al sto­ry per­so­nal­ly. They both remai­ned true to their ide­als until their very last breath. Howe­ver, they never sepa­ra­ted, even though they fought qui­te a lot when it came to poli­ti­cal issu­es; but other than that, they always loved each other.’ His three role models were Her­mann Nitsch, Tade­usz Kan­tor and Sun Ra. Three Peop­le who enri­ched his life in the 70s with a who­le new world view, one he could under­stand and wan­ted to know more about.


Paul Ren­ner hims­elf con­si­de­red Her­mann Nitsch the god­f­a­ther of Punk, and wan­ted to learn all about excess, into­xi­ca­ti­on and art, which is why he was Nitsch’s assi­stant for 10 years. Alrea­dy back then, Nitsch didn’t trust anyo­ne other than Paul when it came to ‘coo­king art’. ‘My grand­mo­ther had a guest­house, the­re was always a lot of coo­king going on back at my place. Coo­ke­ry play­ed a role in Nitsch’s theat­re and, as I could actual­ly cook, I coo­ked for him. I noti­ced that the spi­ces, scents, and tas­tes are part of the action, part of the sce­ne. I was incredi­b­ly proud.’ When Ren­ner got acquain­ted with two Oxford pro­fes­sors, Med­lar Lucan and Duri­an Grey and their ‘The Deca­dent Cook­book’ in the 90s, it beca­me his bible. The two were pure theo­re­ti­ci­ans. And so Paul Ren­ner was plun­ged deep into art, ‘becau­se if you can’t real­ly do some­thing, you sam­ple it; that’s how crea­ti­vi­ty works. It then beco­mes the engi­ne for ide­as.’ His cur­rent culi­na­ry pro­ject is cal­led The FAKE, becau­se it focu­ses on how to simu­la­te tas­tes we don’t know.

As an examp­le, he brings up faux turt­le soup from his grandmother’s reci­pe book. Tog­e­ther with a cook from Vien­na he crea­tes dis­hes they think they know the tas­te of. It also con­tains ingre­dients of a social natu­re. ‘The coun­ter­at­tack on a food indus­try and gour­met maga­zi­ne which are making its con­su­mers dum­ber and dum­ber, which are full of idio­cy, whe­re they try to for­ce their beliefs down on peop­le, tel­ling them what’s good and what isn’t, and how spe­ci­fic wines and dis­hes should tas­te. Whe­re­as I care about tas­te and not about The­se ridi­cu­lous explana­ti­ons. We’re taking over what others are faking.

La Cuc­ca­gna 2013, Acca­de­mia di Bre­ra Milano
The Hell Fire Tou­ring Club 2002 mit Med­lar Lucan & Duri­an Gray

Paul Ren­ner uses dif­fe­rent mate­ri­als and tech­ni­ques. So he pulls i.e. exis­ting walls with honey­comb. ‘When I speak of the honey­comb, I also speak of the social sta­te. This is a word which is most­ly trod­den on and dis­re­gar­ded the most; a beha­viour embo­di­ed by poli­tics who­se aim is to vili­fy it even more.’ Paul Renner’s ide­al sce­n­a­rio is to bom­bard all sen­ses at the same time with his anar­chic, sub­ver­si­ve, and expe­ri­men­tal approach in order to shock. He hea­vi­ly reli­es on the phi­lo­so­phy of aut­hor Oswald Wie­ner. Man doesn‘t deci­de what he wants, rather inner mecha­nisms do it for him. The­se mecha­nisms and their deve­lo­p­ment are what inte­rest Paul Ren­ner so much, and take him on a meta­phy­si­cal jour­ney. ‘I’m moving in the direc­tion of still working on the fourth dimen­si­on, yet deep down I’m inte­res­ted in achie­ving that place whe­re meta­phy­sics beco­me spi­ri­tu­al.’ When asked about today’s deli­very of art, Ren­ner mis­ses the fact that art has the power to chan­ge us to such a Point whe­re we’re no lon­ger one with socie­ty. ‘We belie­ve that ‘fee­ling’ is a con­cept you can rese­arch. The more shaken the fee­ling is, the har­der it is to accept Socie­ty as it is. The objec­ti­ve of my art is to trans­form dest­ruc­tion into posi­ti­ve energy

Share Post
Written by

Das Kunstmagazin, das mehr Zeit zum Lesen und mehr Raum zum Schauen beansprucht: ein Gegentrend zu vielen Megatrends. Geeignet für Kunstliebhaber, die tiefer gehen möchten und bereit sind, inspiriert zu werden. Intellektuell anspruchsvolle Inhalte, innovatives Layout und elegantes Design auf höchstem Qualitätsstandard.

Shopping Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue Shopping