13.05 - 25.09.2011
opening: 12.05, 8 pm
With the exhibition series secret universe, the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum for Contemporary Art inaugurates a project space, which presents singular artistic positions that go beyond categorization in terms of current art keywords, but which nevertheless revert to common strategies of contemporary art. secret universe offers insight into fascinatingly coherent worlds and complex, visual narrative spaces of hitherto largely neglected artistic positions. Some of the artists presented are denominated as "outsiders"; their work cannot be clearly integrated into the art establishment. secret universe introduces these positions of astounding visual intensity beyond the clear demarcation of "inside" and "outside," revealing idiosyncratic and autonomous approaches with a potential of breaking down the discourse of art criticism and the cultural establishment.
The first exhibition of the secret universe series presents the photographic oeuvre of Horst Ademeit. Over a period of over twenty years Ademeit compiled an archive comprising thousands of Polaroid images. In two groups of parallel works - observation images and diary images - he meticulously documented the impact of radiation on his surroundings, particularly the influence of cold rays. Making use of scientific measuring methods, he encompasses the formal canon of 20th century art, ranging from street photography to conceptual art.
Born in Cologne in 1937, Horst Ademeit completed an apprenticeship as a house painter and then went on to study Textile Design before attending the Kölner Werkkunstschule. In 1970, he was briefly enrolled in the class of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. After a first series of documentary photographs, which depicted renovation works in dilapidated buildings, he turned increasingly to the documentation of radiation in the late 1980s. His body of work was discovered only two years prior to his death. Although originally pushed by personal motivation, Ademeit actively supported the late recognition of his work within the context of the art establishment. The National Gallery at the Hamburger Bahnhof dedicates Ademeit the first museum exhibition.
Horst Ademeit's oeuvre questions the interplay between autonomous artistic production, public awareness and art evaluation in terms of its theoretical and critical context. The secret universe series, curated by Claudia Dichter and developed with the assistance of Susanne Zander, raises these questions in regard to concepts of disposition for collections and temporary exhibitions, abandoning common practice in favour of opening the museum space to a long-term debate.
The series secret universe was made possible by the About Change, Stiftung.