In Sebastian Schlicher’s (1975) drawings ecstatic stage performers, cult members, religious types, occultists, survivalists or politicians appear who are in a state of melancholia, rage or fear.
They have put themselves into a pathetic battle mode, struggling to get through life, trying to find heroic, symbolic ways to overcome their own mortality and insignificance. According to Sebastian Schlicher everyone is working on their own heroic project, the larger-than-life personality is a favourite metaphor in his work. Besides making drawings Schlicher also initiates projects to which he invites musicians and friends to contribute. The result is always attributed to the fictional group, Amerikan Teenager. The projects consist of making making cooperative wallpaintings, videos, stage performances and gigs.
For some time Schlicher has focused on the Homestead Principle: the appropriation of resources that have not yet been claimed, usually implying a plot of land. This mechanism matches the theme of the ‘lone wolf’, an individual who wants to live his life in a heroic and authentic way and longs to turn his back on society. As Patti Smith so aptly put it: ‘Outside of society they are waiting for me, outside of society is where I want to be.’ Sebastiaan Schlicher applies the Homestead principle by building a hut in an exhibition space, thus claiming it. Inside the walls of the hut are covered with wall paintings of woods and primitive survival settlements, along with the video Disappear. The video shows a compilation of forest fires seemingly filmed by the arsonist who has unleashed this apocalypse.