LONDON - The mysterious scenes and architectural compositions of German painter Michael Kunze are both seductive and surprising. We spoke to him about his work Flügelschlag (Wing Beat).

What does the title, Flügelschlag (Wing Beat), refer to?

It refers to the seemingly forbidden metaphysical space "behind" the visible constructed surface. This is a lonely landscape with different cultural tracks and traps.


Michael Kunze’s Flügelschlag (Wing Beat), part of the This Side of Paradise selling exhibition at London’s S|2 gallery.

Your paintings have been referred to as utopian landscapes. Can you talk us through this scene?

In the foreground there is the entrance to a cave; in front of it a fire is still burning (perhaps it has been forgotten?) and there is a red-violet blossoming tree. Stairs lead up to a ruin, possibly a forgotten house? Or perhaps a cemetery, with a cypress tree, the tree of the dead, which imitates in its form the flame of the fire below. 

You seem to be playing with layers of space and meaning?

The black cypress throws a sort of shadow of a flame over the sky, which seems not to be "real" but rather a sort of projection onto a wall. And at the same time a cosmological demonstration is projected in the sky, with four celestial bodies that seem to also mirror themselves.

What is the meaning of these celestial bodies?

I think everybody has forgotten what sort of meaning it should have (but I would guess it is the representation of a double sun eclipse!). In between these projection procedures are other architectural relics that frame the image. You can see these above the red tree such as the ruined scientific weather-mill. In between all these different interrupted and unfinished narrations a bird disappeared whose wings you can still hear beating. (I guess somewhere in the supposed cemetery, or perhaps behind the red-blossoming tree).

…which leads us back to the title, Wing Beat.

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