Thursday, 29 August 2019


Helga Goetze, Indianische Astrologie, 1984 - 1985, Embroidery, cotton twist, metal thread and nettle, 126 x 180 cm

Helga Goetze

September 7 – Oktober 30, 2019
Opening: September 6, 6 – 10 pm
Lines of silver thread run through each being and life form with a soul in Helga Goetze’s epic embroidery, Indianische Astrologie. The landscape is one of spiritual union and interconnection, inhabited by peaceful beings, most of them engaged in one activity – fucking.

For Helga Goetze, “Ficken ist Frieden,” a statement that recurs in her more than 3000 poems, drawings, erotic tapestries, and her activism. Articulated in her prolific work is a form of faith – sex as a pathway into the hidden, obscure, unknowable registers of our being and existence. During her daily one-person protests by the Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, she could have spoken of love, or love making, but Goetze preferred referring to her faith as fucking. A word choice and provocation of a woman in her seventies that was, and is, significant and deliberate.

There is a continuous movement in Goetze’s practice between the advocacy of pleasure, and a fascination with the fear or suppression thereof. Her embroideries are large, complex and harmonious compositions of image and text, with bright primary colours. These works are depositories of time – a repetitive and precise labour – sitting at the interface between mind and hand. Goetze used a craft, traditionally associated with female subjection, and pushed its form and expression into radical visions of love, motherhood and co-habitation.

Her poems and text-works oscillate between the search for a profound state of truth – an eloquently formulated spiritual outlook – and a deeply felt critique of patriarchy: “with the contempt of woman begins the end of the world.” Her compositions of text on board reveal a system of thought, held together by interconnected lines. For Goetze, writing was a core way in which her systemic-intuitive thinking crystallised itself, and was carried forth – “Coming into the world means coming into language.”(1)

Goetze married young, and spent the first part of her adult life as a housewife and mother. In her mid 40s she experienced a powerful sexual revelation, and lived for a number of years in free love communes in Hamburg and Berlin, before founding the ‘Genital University’ in her home. The force or “Kraft” that propelled her work and thinking was defined against ideals of control and order – of sanitized, and in Goetze’s words, “neurotic ideals of the nuclear family.”(2) Perversion, in her work, is rooted in the structural ‘perversions’ of normative desires and its associated controls. A recurring symbol of dominance and infantilisation in her imagery is the pointing index finger. One of them is raised and belongs to a man, her father. “You do not see and you do not touch,” written next to it. And on the other side the mother with the words: “That stinks.”(3)

To speak of love, pleasure and joy, is in Goetze’s work both an affirmation of a way of being together and a deliberate act of subversion. Deep-seated fears of female sexuality, and in particular that of an older woman, were core threads of her practice, ones that she explored with and through her own mythological lexicon. There is a cyclical sense of time in Goetze’s work and her compositions recurrently couple organic temporalities with female experience. As the figures move from spring to winter, an intellectual, embodied and sensual process of change is represented, without one stage being privileged, or another reduced. In Die Göttinen, hand-drawn text and collage elements are structured around a series of mythological female beings – their lessons are distillations of Goetze’s views on imagination, energy and the sacred, alongside critiques of private possession and spiritual boorishness. Part of the implication here, as elsewhere in Goetze’s work, is that we already know, or at least knew how to be in the world; that there are deep connections and intuitions that have been silenced, and at times violently severed. Her outlook, however, was also cut through by a humour and defiance that destabilised any potential sanctity of vision. There is a significant impurity, and distrust of morality that fed into her attitude, and language. She often referred to herself as a “housewife”, “a hole”, “a sow” – as much a strategy of provocation and defiance, as a pleasurable undermining of over-simplified and binary division between power and suppression. In Goetze’s lifetime, there was a lack of critical engagement with her practice, and the tendency to diminish, even pathologise, her person and work. An element experienced all the more intensively as Goetze did not remain within the comfort and safety of initiated circles, but decided to speak and take space in distinctively public-facing platforms. As such she was familiar with reactions of fear of the unknown or the uncontrollable, reactions which Goetze saw and at times confronted with a combination of spite and sardonic wit:

Without ears, this sow 
Do you really call such a thing a woman? 
And this is me. (4)

When a body loves, it shows an admirable frailty, a state which fascinated Goetze. It is a strand rooted in, but extending beyond the erotic – hers was an anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist and ecologically permeated way of seeing, with circles of concern radiating outwards. We know that there is more than one reality, multiplicities or “thresholds” sensed or experienced, in spite of dominant ideology’s insistence on the singular narrative. Part of the confrontation of Goetze’s ‘vision work’, a confrontation it purposefully courts, is a deep-running insistence on staying put with, and enduring a radical unity of parts. “It does not have to be right – but sometimes it’s mysterious how everything is connected.”(5)

Text by Fatima Hellberg

1) Quote from Helga Goetze, Salome from the series Die Göttinnen, undated, mixed media on paper, 41 x 29,5cm.
2) From Helga Goetze, “Ficken für den Frieden” 1993, interview, Published on ‘Youtube’ March 30, 2017, URL:
3) Leila Dregger, ‘Helga Sophia Goetze – Die Frau wird zur glühenden Venus’, from ‘Die weibliche Stimme’, undated.
4) Excerpt from Helga Goetze’s poem, ‘Sperma, Piss und Menschenkot’, 1973, URL, ibid.
5) Helga Goetze, ‘Philosophie und Religion’ quoted (undated) on ‘Helga Sophia Goetze’, URL:  

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


© Geijutsu Shincho
Miki Kanai wrote an article about our April show MARCEL BASCOULARD / SPECIAL GUEST JÜRGEN KLAUKE for the Japanese monthly printed art magazine, Geijutsu Shincho.

For more Information visit

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

VISIONARY DRAWINGS / Emma Kunz at Muzeum Susch

Emma Kunz, selected artworks © Emma Kunz Zentrum
Emma Kunz
July 26 – November 10, 2019

After it was shown at the Serpentine Galleries (March 23 – May 19, 2019), the exhibition Emma Kunz. Visionary Drawings with over 40 of rarely seen drawings by Emma Kunz (1892–1963) will be presented at Muzeum Susch

The Emma Kunz Zentrum wrotes about the artist and her works:

"Emma Kunz lived from 1892 to 1963 in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. In her lifetime she was recognized as a healer; she herself described herself as a researcher. Now she has acquired an international reputation through her artistic work. Even in her schooldays, Emma Kunz occupied herself with exceptional happenings. When she was 18 years old, she began to use her abilities of telepathy, prophecy and as a healer, and she began to exercise her divining pendulum.

"She achieved successes through her advice and treatments that often edged on the limits of miracles. She herself rejected the term miracle because she attributed it to the ability to use and activate powers that lie dormant in everyone. Not least, it was this gift that permitted Emma Kunz to discover in 1941 the power of the Würenlos healing rock that she named AION A. From 1938, Emma Kunz created large-scale pictures on graph paper.

For more Information visit

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Installation Views of Linda Christanell, Fenster / OKEY-DOKEY III

Installation Views of Linda Christanell, Fenster / OKEY-DOKEY III, Courtesy of the artist.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Linda Christanell, Fenster / OKEY-DOKEY III

Linda Christanell, Fingerfächer, 1975/82 (still). Courtesy of the artist.

Linda Christanell, Fenster
Co-Curated by Fatima Hellberg & Steven Cairns

July 6 - August 31, 2019
Opening: July 5th, 6 – 9 pm

Staging of objects – objects for decoration – decoration is protection – "numino" – the mystery of being scared and fascinated. What decorates – changes – through decorating, strength is conveyed.
Linda Christanell

Vienna-based artist and filmmaker Linda Christanell has worked across mediums since the mid-sixties – hers is a prolific, yet rarely shown body of work, held together by its distinctive inner logic and pictorial world. Christanell’s practice loops back to a fascination with objects as bearers of obsessions, issuing and channeling energy as fetishes. Her films and photographs contain symbols and trinkets that are contemplated, arranged and held, animated, and recoded. In the compositions, the meaning and power of the objects are both affirmed, but also pushed into and out of registers of desire, eroticism and violence.

A core strand of the works in this presentation is Christanell’s long-running fascination with vouyeurism and concealment – the mechanical eye of the camera, its merging with her own view, that of the observer, and the energies exchanged between these relations. A form of intimacy of viewing and looking further pushed by Christanell’s way of working: her filmmaking takes the form of a solitary practice, with the scenarios, form, and narrative being built up and orchestrated by herself.

FINGERFÄCHER, a film flickering and shifting in perspective, moving between distance and closeness, evokes something of the power and approximation of that which cannot be fully held or seen – “a film about which there are no words.” In ALL CAN BECOME A ROSE, the distinctive diy spirit of Christanell’s practice can be felt, a pleasure of making, moving in non-linear ways between desire and a finely articulated sense of darkness. Here a recurring motif of Christanell’s practice appears: a view of the artist’s hand with a crystal-headed hat needle. The jewel glimmers and moves as it pushes into her skin – an image of shimmering hardness and porousness. These moving image works are accompanied by photographs by the artist, including her newly conceived work, FOR YOU (2019).


Linda Christanell’s (b. 1939 Vienna, Austria) early work was primarily in photography and performance, until she in the mid 1970s turned to moving image as her primary medium. Christanell was a member of the Austria Filmmakers Cooperative (1982), of the Künstlerhaus Vienna (1982), of the Assembly of Authors in Graz (1984), and a founding member of Intakt (1977). Recent solo presentations and screenings include at Belvedere 21, Vienna, and Oberhausen Film Festival. In 2015 she received the Award for Visual Art of the City of Vienna.

Linda Christanell’s exhibition is part of Fenster, the third iteration of OKEY DOKEY. This years’ edition takes the form an exhibition unfolding over eight venues across Cologne and Düsseldorf. The show encompasses a range of practices that intersect with ideas of spectatorship, voyeurism, consumerism and their relationship to the body as a site of exhibition.

Saturday, 29 June 2019


Adelhyd van Bender: Untitled, 1999-2014, Mixed media on photocopy 19.42 x 30 cm, Courtesy Delmes & Zander, Köln

with works by Adelhyd van Bender, Ei Arakawa / Nikolas Gambaroff, 
James Castle, Tony Lewis, Dan Peterman, LeRoy Stevens, Lisa Williamson

July 6 - August 31, 2019
Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago
Opening: Saturday, July 6, 4-6 pm

For more Information and to see all Installation Views of the Exhibition visit

Friday, 28 June 2019

Linda Christanell, Fenster / OKEY-DOKEY III

Image credit: Linda Christanell, Fingerfächer, 1975/82 (still). Courtesy of the artist

Linda Christanell, Fenster
Co-curated by Fatima Hellberg & Steven Cairns

July 6 - August 31, 2019
Opening on Friday, July 5th, 6 – 9 pm

Delmes & Zander is honored to host a solo show by Vienna based artist Linda Christanell at this year's edition of Okey-Dokey.

Zoe Barcza
Rachal Bradley
Linda Christanell
Hildegarde Duane
Christian Flamm
Eva Löfdahl
Soshiro Matsubara
David Medalla
Zbigniew Rybczyński
Alan Stanners
Issy Wood

Delmes & Zander
Ginerva Gambino
Jan Kaps
Galerie Kadel Willborn
Galerie Max Mayer
Sies + Höke
Buchhandlung Walther König

Fenster is an exhibition unfolding over eight venues across Cologne and Düsseldorf. The show encompasses a range of practices that intersect with ideas of spectatorship, voyeurism, consumerism and their relationship to the body as a site of exhibition.

Fatima Hellberg is Artistic Director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Steven Cairns is Curator of Artists' Film and Moving Image at the Institute of Contemporary Arts London.

For further information please visit: