It starts with an idea. Sometimes no more than a sense of direction. Or a particularly attractive object ...
If he isn't hunting for sounds his eyes are searching for discarded bits and pieces that can become part of a visual work of art.

Von Kleist is always on the lookout for ways to unlock secrets that he can only clutch at. Time and decay fascinate him. He is mesmerized by objects that show their age. "Time has changed them. Look at the way the sea processes things! They start out whole and intact, but end up dented and bleached. I find that poignant. Often, I incorporate what I find on the beach into my work.

The filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky whom I greatly admire, has written beautifully about this phenomenon.

Tarkovksy wrote in one of his essays: What is the meaning of time? Only through time are people able to realize their individuality. I am not referring to linear time that allows us to do things as part of an entire sequence of actions, but to time as a state. The personal experience of time is like moral nourishment to an individual. It fuels their creativity and is more than history or evolution. Time is like a flame. The human soul inhabits it. Likewise the salamander, which is a symbol of an elemental spirit, is said to live surrounded by fire.

Found objects
In Von Kleist's work, a plastic indeterminate object becomes an index finger pointing at its natural companions ... stones deposited by the sea (Objet Trouvé).

A squashed Coke tin glitters like a jewel. Yet the blob of concrete above it, together with a mangled videocassette, suggests a repulsive, greedy head that is only interested in consumption (The consumer). The can was found in the parking lot of a supermarket.

The work lamp in Darwin's dream from the 1940s had long been buried in Irish soil. Part of its glass is broken. It is mounted on a metal triangle (like an all-seeing eye within a triad) that is covered in graffiti, "love eternal, game, Elohim" by Von Kleist.

The past
"When I started to paint and draw I went through a period of psychedelic symbolism. I used to painstakingly prepare every work, and made lots of sketches, but the result often fell short of what I had in mind. These days, the process is reversed. I allow things to happen, governed by chance. What is called "coincidence" may well point to connections that have so far escaped our notice. On finding things that have been lost or thrown away I help them to "speak for themselves". Only in this way am I able to hear what they really have to say."



Photos by Suzana Zalokar




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morning glory