The secret service comes by post, the spy is on the stamp.
In 1990, during the final throes of the Soviet Union an edition of stamps was issued in honor of five KGB agents. Their names, birth and death dates were printed beneath each portrait. It would seem strange: to make public these identities that should remain hidden and these names no one should know. Albeit only the truly well-informed would be able assign the names to the spies in question.
Fabian Reimann has taken on this subject, reworking the images and transferring them from tiny stamps to larger than life canvasses. Reimann uses the spies‘ code names as titles of the works. Some of whom are in fact old acquaintances, as the artist has encountered them before in earlier work and his research on nuclear spies and the intricacies of art and espionage.
The second series of images features even more KGB heroes. What may have already seemed reactionary in 1990, is downright strange in the 1998 stamp edition. Russian stamps that honor heroes of the Soviet Union? Was this a time of longing for a big, united country, for a global power? Is this nostalgia even current today?
The title of the exhibition „From Russia with Love“ is borrowed from the 1963 James Bond film. This fictitious spy figure, who identifies with nothing else but being a spy serves as the perfect representative for the Cold War era.
In his work Fabian Reimann examines history and its imagery. For the artist all stories that are read into images, whether they are fictional or historical, or stem from military imagery intelligence, stenography or art history, become intertwined in the pool of our cultural memory. A broad spectrum of information, of things both visible and hidden, names, faces and codes is covered in the current exhibition.