Photos by Corbin Sassen

The exhibition, titled „Kandinsky’s Kaleidoscope: An immersive experience space for the Élysée Year,“(1) took place at the Historical Museum Saar (18. July – 31. August 2023) in their specially designed exhibition hall created by Gottfried Böhm. It is being realized as part of the Élysée Year commemoration. The media format of the exhibition is an audiovisual and immersive installation that combines visual and auditory elements to create a unique experience for visitors.

Inspired by the revolutionary ideas of the art movement „Der Blaue Reiter“ founded by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky, which significantly influenced the development of abstract art, digital media artist Mert Akbal creates three abstract expressionist animations. Using a novel AI-supported process called semantic rendering, geometric shapes such as lines, waveforms, circles, and triangles are parametrically animated and further guided through an image-to-image interpreter called Stable Diffusion img2img.

In addition to the original images, this artificial intelligence system is provided with simple words – in this case, „lines, waves, triangles by Wassily Kandinsky.“ This process generates movement compositions that imitate Kandinsky’s style but are unmistakably created by Akbal in terms of composition and animation. The term „semantic rendering“ describes the completion of an image from digital objects in the digital world, where images are created by linking words and their meanings to digital objects.

Within the three works, only two figurative representations can be identified: Eros (Love) and his brother Anteros (Reciprocal Love), depicted as two archers, and repeated depictions of galloping horses. These horses not only pay homage to the art movement „Der Blaue Reiter,“ which dissolved with the outbreak of World War I in 1914 but also serve as a reminder of the eight million animals that lost their lives in the war despite not belonging to any nation. Furthermore, they symbolize the profound transformation of the horse from a working animal to the rise of automobile culture after the war.

Titles of individual pieces:

Titeln einzelner Stücke:

  1. „Grenzenlose Spannung“ („Boundless Tension“)
  2. „Kunst überschreitet die Grenzen der Zeit, und gibt den Inhalt der Zukunft an“ („Art Transcends the Boundaries of Time and Passes the Content of the Future“)
  3. „Zeitweilig Ausgerissen aus Kreisen“ („Temporarily Escaped from Circles“)

(1) The Élysée Year refers to a commemoration or celebration of the Élysée Treaty. The Élysée Treaty, officially known as the Treaty of Friendship between France and Germany, was signed on January 22, 1963, by President Charles de Gaulle of France and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of Germany. The treaty aimed to strengthen the relationship and promote cooperation between the two countries after years of historical conflicts. The Élysée Year typically marks a significant anniversary of the treaty and is a time to reflect on the Franco-German friendship and partnership.

(2) The titles are rephrased from Wassily Kandinsky’s book „Point and Line to Plane,“ taken from pages 131, 20, and 127.