Benja Sachau • Doppelblind • 27.04.–04.06.2011

“It is not possible to define. Nothing has ever been finally found out. Because there is nothing final to find out.”

– Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned (1919)

A double-blind study is a form of experiment in which neither the test subjects nor the researchers know who belongs to the control group and the experimental group. This eliminates the influence of expectations and behaviour that could result from the knowledge of such information.

Benja Sachau is part of an experiment. Inspired by cults, scientific and paranormal phenomena, he adapts structures and processes and references them in his work.

By converting and interfering with their circuits, Sachau individualises mass-produced objects such as cheap toys and shaving equipment, loads them with pens and sets them drawing within a test situation. Drawing with electricity is an entirely logical decision for him because of the superficial invisibility of electrical circuits, like the structures of religious associations, companies or states. He produces and modifies drawing systems until their mechanical character disappears and abstraction emerges. He sets his subjects to work alone or against one another, manipulates them, draws with them and draws conclusions from his results.

The more machines there are on the experiment table, the higher the factor of reciprocal manipulation, the lower the degree to which each drawing unit is able to exercise its own drawing principle. The drawing is seemingly individualised as a result of these manipulations. Sachau calls this paradox the reciprocal formation of consciousness, a submission up to the point of that self-renunciation which he also sees in sects.

The Japanese para-scientist Masaru Emoto has had water molecules blessed by Buddhist monks and claims that molecules can be modified by thought. Sachau subjects one drawing machine to the influence of a non-drawing machine projecting a pre-space-age creation theory. The result is a drawing where saucers are discernible to those who want to see them. The drawings are finely condensed abstractions in which nebulous forms take shape. They function as Rorschach tests in that perceived associations can be traced back to the subjective reality of the viewer.

While Sachau’s installations deal with alternative worldviews and phenomena of perception, his sculptures take on biomorphic, cultic forms. They are often symbolic positions that function as a link to the drawings, thriving on a mental construct whereby everything has to do with everything. Sachau’s art is an abstract parallel world that takes structures, controls and manipulation as its subject matter and derives nourishment from the absurdity of creation.