Alain Huck created the visually striking drawings “Affection” and “Le souffle” in the summer of 2010 for his exhibition at the Kunstforum Baloise. Both drawings share the same format and technique. They also bear similarities in the choice of motif and style of drawing. Both works are based on photographs that the artist painstakingly translated into the medium of drawing with charcoal over a period of several weeks. “Affection” portrays the spectacular panoramic closing scene from Werner Herzog’s film Aguirre. “Wrath of God” (1972). For “Le souffle,” Huck based his drawing on a photograph he took of an ordinary and unassuming spot near Lausanne. The drawing sets viewers “barking up the wrong tree” by pulling them into a densely grown coppice that confounds their orientation and confronts them with an unfamiliar and impenetrable reality that suggests something as enigmatic as it is uncanny.
The uncanny and the unfamiliar are also inscribed into the drawings themselves. Viewed from a distance, the photorealistic precision of this detailed rendering has an astonishingly impact. Seen close up, however, both drawings dissolve into a dense and formless commingling. This is the result of rapid and impulsive interventions by which the artist partially “destroys” the drawings. Huck has used the ball of his hand, his fingers, and even his arm to blur the finely detailed elements of his drawings. The charcoal that remains on the surface of the paper reverts to its original dust-like state. This residual matter lies like a melancholy veil over the images, both of which are also metaphorical images of natural elements: “Affection” stands for fire, and “Le souffle” for air.