Hans’ ERT’s are mordantly humorous. Depicting the inconsequential, the unavailing and the bizarre, his drawings poke fun at human aspirations of becoming conscious adults selves. There is a lot of comedy in the things he draws, but that doesn’t mean that his work isn’t serious. Whilst treading the fine line between the familiar and the unfamiliar, reality and illusion, consciousness and unconsciousness, his images provide a means of entering a kind of ‘subspace’.
Addressing universal and timeless questions of the ego and the challenging aspects of its reduction, Hans ERT’s function as tools for deflating the over-inflated senses we have of ourselves. Reflecting on the idea of ego reduction from within an artistic context — itself often filled with egotism — Hans’ work provides an opportunity to visually explore the spirit and nature of the ‘I’ and the ‘Self’ from different perspectives as well as their relationship with the ‘We’ and the ‘Other’.
Adding titles to his designs, Hans mines the relationship between the verbal and visual with wit and intelligence. I think the ERT’s redefine the relationship between word and image in terms of their communicative functions. Traditionally, words provided the narrative, and images the illustration. But for Hans the bond between visual and verbal is far more complex than that. The titles give the images different meanings, but they also leave them open-ended. Through this fascinating word-image play the ERT’s challenge the viewer by proposing ambiguous meaning, which I believe is the simple test of great art.
Sarah Charalambides (Researcher in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths University of London)