It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words.
Ethics is transcendental.
(Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.) Wittgenstein
My creative practice is driven by a radically skeptical relationship to language. I am not simply skeptical of certain concepts, discourses, or perspectives, but of the very means whereby we articulate all of our certainties and doubts, about ourselves and about our world.
Stemming from this ambivalent fascination with language, my work deals with different aspects of communication, from the simple, personal articulation of ideas and beliefs through action and utterance, to the more complex communal communication expressed through media and technology. I am also interested in the communication of the social, as in the ways we are conditioned by the laws, traditions and behavioral norms of state and cultural institutions. I am especially interested in the communication of power as it is exercised both symbolically and physically, from the soft power of a government’s theatrical authority, information controls and economic policies, to the hard power of its policing, punishment, and legitimate violence.
My artwork aims for a high degree of legibility but also emphasizes the many ambiguities and contradictions that assertive, didactic language can so readily obscure. Thus with my installations and sculptures I am creating something that is simultaneously intelligible and questionable. I want the terms of my aesthetic inquiry to be clear, but I deliberately make no assumptions about potential answers to either the questions raised or the implications suggested. These are the quandaries that I hope my viewers will be willing to take up and weigh between their own two hands. Much as my objects express ideas of absurdity, my video and performance work represents my struggle to make sense of my feelings of absurdity. By forcing myself to enact and endure difficult and repetitive metaphors for the mundane routines imposed upon all of us by the everyday requirements of living, I am able to make physically manifest my commitment to life and work despite their appearances of vanity and absurdity. I hope that the performances’ good-natured ridiculousness and earnest durations impart to viewers a tireless affirmation of living, even in the face of its sometimes-apparent meaninglessness and often-justifiable despair.
My evolving body of work is essentially a work of philosophy, but due to a deep-seated mistrust of language, rhetoric, and the ends to which they may lead us, it is an inquiry I can only maintain via the sculptural, the physical, and the performative. In all, my work seeks to create a dialogue where the questions posed must be posed as objects and the answers derived must be proven not in words, but by action.
Dietmar Krumrey – Mt. Pleasant Michigan