artist statement

Born in Austria with German citizenship (Austrian mother, German father), I grew up in a small, rural village on the border of Austria and Germany. From childhood, I have faced (national and personal) liminality and hybridity, which have helped to shape my identity and play a formative role in my artistic approach over recent years. Whether drawing, writing, or creating spatial installations, an affinity for paper and ballpoint pen is always evident in my work. My drawings feature a constant succession of ballpoint pen strokes of equal length and depth, filling a format. Technically, this stroke play is a minimalist ornament. The exploration of repetitive structures – removed from Western ideas of decoration, rather towards an interest in minimalism and emptiness – led me to Beijing in 2008. My basic concepts are ornamentation, landscape* and texture, and their relationships / alliances in transcultural contexts.  I also regularily use text, e.g. in my upcoming artist book "Elusion. Story of a Smuggler", to contextualise my drawings and tell about my nomadic lifestyle, purchasing materials, cultural influences etc., that is an otherwise silent part of my artistic work that would be lost.

Alice Dittmar