Enrico Freitag


In his paintings and drawings Enrico Freitag reflects fundamental and contemporary aspects of human civilization. In anthological series, he devotes himself to various phenomena of sociallyrelevant themes, until a complex connection arises between the artist‘s various groups of works.

An intellectual starting point and at the same time a recurring motif, which also proves to be aninspiration for the artist‘s other subjects, can be seen in the series entitled ‘LabOra’. With this title, a phrase derived from the Benedictine order ‘Ora et Labora’ (Pray and Labour), the artist leads us into a world of work that is also shaped by an almost contemplative aura and yet deep immerse into anactive Fordist dystopia of mass production. Work is neither heroized nor criticized by the artist, butconsidered neutral and as a logical component of civilization and society.
In a kind of autopoiesic development of this basic idea, series such as ‘Fresh Kills’,which in itsambiguity on the one hand refers to the eponymous, at that time the world’s largest waste dump on the outskirts of New York, on the other hand almost ironically builds the bridge between factoryfresh, the desire of our consumer society for brand-new goods, and the fleeting moment of having a disposable society paying homage to abundance.
‘The Poisoning’ exemplifies a momentous industrial disaster in Japan in the early 1950s, which still has consequences and impacts on the lives of people in the affected area. Later became known as Minamata disease, the disaster was triggered by unpurified wastewater from a local chemical plant and poisoned the waters of the area, and thus the fish and a little later the population, who fed on their consumption, with mercury. As well as the resident fishermen as the firm, and even thegovernment, which wanted to achieve industrial growth at any price in the postwar period, did their utmost to keep events a secret.