Memorial Library // Hartung + Trenz: Character
A 2-channel, animated light-text-projection for the Memorial Library Halifax

The work of Detlef Hartung and Georg Trenz at the Memorial Library in Halifax uses only single letters as projection materials. The sum of all kinds of texts, literatures, and documentation of our alphabetized script culture collected in a library is dissolved and leads back to phoneme-based components.

The graphemes (symbols) of our Latin script is rooted in the “Capitalis Monumentalis” and used only capital letters. This stone carved lapidary is a good example of how mathematical and design principles and proportions as they were applied in architecture, art and everyday life at its time, influenced the design of the written forms. Many of these design principles are universal and still valid today.

Each individual letter thus conveys not only a sound, but also a visual, individual impression through its form and shape. Each letter has its own personality, its own character. This shows especially when one frees the characters from their context by an ornamental play, such as duplication, twists or reflections. Then it becomes clear that, in addition to an infinite number of substantives, there are also infinitely many formal and ornamental possibilities to put together letters. The resulting images and pictorial notations formulate a language of their own which sparks a visual dialogue with its writing surface: the Memorial Library in Halifax.

Hartung + Trenz, “Character”, 2017 //Responsive 2017

In their spatial projections, Detlef Hartung and Georg Trenz explore the relationship among text, image, space and perspective, light, color, form and sensory perception. This complex dynamic and its impact on human consciousness are the main focus of their artistic research. Their works are site- and context-specific responding to social, cultural, historical or philosophical aspects as part of their conceptual choices. Architectural coding, technical functions, and traces of use become part of their concrete poetry. They have animated buildings such as churches, theaters, and galleries whose surfaces seemed in constant transformation by the interaction between the projected textures and the encountered structures.

“When approaching a new project, we start to ask a lot of questions and in the same way and the same time, we explore the interplay of the site and the possibilities of projection. And the better both work, the more information and associations surface and the more questions dive up. Usually the midst of this entanglement becomes our working ground …”

>> The Interview


2017 // Houmet Souk (tn), SEE DJERBA
2016 // Frankfurt (de), LUMINALE
2016 // Tunis (tn), INTERFERENCE
2016 // Eindhoven (nl), GLOW
2015 // Adelaide (au), BLINC
2015 // Hildesheim (de), LICHTUNGEN
2014 // Montréal (ca), FESTIVAL NOUVEAU DU CINÉMA


// Detlef Hartung
Since 1998 // regular exhibition activity with Georg Trenz, mainly in Europe
1985 – 1991 // Munich (de), Studies of Fine Art
1979 – 1984 // Munich (de), Studies in Mechanical Engineering
1967 // moved to Germany
1958 // born in Caracas (ve)

// Georg Trenz
Since 1998 // regular exhibition activity with Detlef Hartung, mainly in Europe
Since 1997 // Munich (de), teaching design in several schools
1988-1994 // Munich (de), Studies of Fine Art
1982-1986 // Munich (de), Studies of Design
1962 // born in Munich (de)


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