Karin Meiner

Meiner Streifen
The lonely traveller
Translation of Egídio Álvaro's text, 1991

The lonely traveller

The first artists which - in their works - paid homage to a civilization that brought forth machines, speed and noise, were the Futurists. In our times, on the threshold to the third millennium, this civilization has already conquered the whole planet and we are only tiny little gears in this continual revolution. Cars, television, computers the mass flight during the holidays, advertising and boundless consumption constitute our daily surroundings
and habits. Nearly imperceptible, our view of the surrounding world has completely changed.
Our point of view is that of the driving mirror, seeing the others only passing by.
It is the same point of view we take before the screen, which provides us with the latest information on the great catastrophes and the small fortunes.
Only a short time ago we have begun this long and lonely journey.

The paintings of Karin Meiner show us the contemporary environment.

They tell us of the urban jungle and the endless flow of traffic on the streets, were every red ball marks a car and every centre of the cars represents a human being, which feels absolutely safe in his metal cocoon.
Communication? It takes place by means of distance -the insertion of signals and information.
The human body remembers himself only vaguely of past pleasures. Its whole world is that of locomotion and alienated behaviour, that of civilization out of machines and images.
What possibilities are left to the artists?
Of course, he is able to produce aesthetic goods.
However, sometimes these goods involve a thorn that forces the spectator to open his eyes, to think and to look upon reality.
The paintings of Karin Meiner are lures.
They are telling depictions full of humour, which however raise a vast number of questions and finally produce a slight feeling of disquiet. The weapons of the robot-figures are cars - tool arms fight against monitor heads.
The spectator is in doubt whether the winner of this fight will be human.
Is it possible for us to remain indifferent in view of this box of Pandora, to withstand the siren song? Ulysses succeeded in this case - being tied to the mast - but at the expense of inexpressible inner agony.
Where do we steer? The paintings ask us with compelling irony. To happiness, to ecstasy or to complete alienation? Everything is possible and everything depends on this microscopic little factor, known as man, the animal being. It dreams of the stars and digs the grave of the planets - a shaky giant with a battlefield in his head.

These paintings show us the lonely gregarious animal, man who more and more becomes a nomad - a voyager without a view for the way behind him, because he is surrounded by walls.
Nature has been cultivated. Why should we worry about the woods, the Amazon or the polluted rivers? Even the destination of the journey does not matter. Everything that counts is the way there and back and to return is to be safe again.
Sometimes I ask myself whether we see the other one (individual) at all and whether life is only a long journey without real movement. The individual is no longer of importance, but still this gigantic social structure, which is responsible for the shattering of dreams. The paintings of Karin Meiner are uncompromising expressions of the spirit of the times (Zeitgeist). They appear as a perfect mirror of the world and the subtle fears, which dominate it.
The paintings show technological battles and the deep marsh of disillusionment.

Egídio Álvaro, Paris 1991

Translation by: Albert Meiner, Bonn 1992