Friday 27 May 2011

REVIEW "So ein Wahnsinn - Horst Ademeit in Berlin" in FAZ 27.05.2011

Horst Ademeit in Berlin

So ein Wahnsinn

Horst Ademeit war besessen von der Idee einer gefährlichen Kältestrahlung. In mehr als sechstausend Polaroids aus dem Alltag wollte er diese Gefahr dokumentieren. Zeigt sich darin mehr sehen als nur seine Obsession?

Von Niklas Maak, Berlin

"Wenn man es sieht, glaubt man es nicht: Über sechstausend Polaroidfotos, aufgenommen über einen Zeitraum von mehreren Jahrzehnten, minutiös durchnummeriert. Man sieht Zeitungen, Eisenteile, Stromzähler, Elektrokabel, Fahrräder, Alltagsdinge. Im weißen Rahmen, der ein Polaroid umgibt, hat jemand mit einem mikroskopisch feinen Stift ganze Romane notiert - pro Foto findet sich oft der Gegenwert von fünf engbedruckten Seiten: Fakten, Theorien, Anmerkungen, ein arabesker Irrgarten aus schwer zu entziffernden Worten.

Horst Ademeit hat 1989 begonnen, auf Polaroids Dinge in seiner Umgebung zu dokumentieren; er war besessen von der Idee, dass von bestimmten Dingen eine „Kältestrahlung“ ausgehe, die ihm schade. So entstand über die Jahre ein Konvolut, das wie ein streng konzeptionelles Kunstwerk wirkt, der Bilderatlas einer privaten Obsession, dem auf engstem Raum ein obsessiver Roman eingeschrieben ist. Wenn man weiß, dass es Ademeit darum ging, bedrohliche Strahlungen sichtbar zu machen, bekommen die Dinge, die man sieht, etwas Unheilvolles: Das Auto schaut böse, das Kabel sieht nach Verhängnis aus (...)"

Klicken Sie hier um den FAZ- Artikel vollständig weiterzulesen.

Niklaas Maak: "So ein Wahnsinn - Horst Ademeit im Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin" in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, S.36, Nr. 123 (27.05.2011)

Online abrufbar hier.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

EXHIBITION Horst Ademeit at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum for Contemporary Art, Berlin

secret universe:

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.

All works on display have been loans from Galerie Susanne Zander.

Thursday 5 May 2011

10th Anniversary of the Prinzhorn Collection

Richard Lindner, Woman with a Whip, 1977


Artist Reaction of the Prinzhorn Collection

7th May - 14th August 2011

opening: 6th May 2011, 5.30 pm

In 2001, the Museum Prinzhorn Collection opened in a refurbished lecture building. It celebrates its 10th anniversary with an extensive exhibition on the resonance of its collection, in which several Heidelberg institutions participate. With works by more than 60 artists, it shows the differences in the critical responses to the famous collection, from Prinzhorn’s time until the present.

In the Prinzhorn Collection Museum, works from the historic fund are mainly juxtaposed with works by more senior artists. The Expressionists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Alfred Kubin are represented, as well as Paul Klee and the Surrealist Max Ernst. The post 1945 response is shown in works by more contemporary ‘classic’ figures like Richard Lindner, Georg Baselitz, Walter Stöhrer, Arnulf Rainer, Wolfgang Petrick, Emil Siemeister, and Edgar Schmandt, but also by younger artists like Lisa Niederreiter and Jennifer Gilbert. The cabinets contain different responses to textile works like the little jacket by Agnes Richter and to the iconic drawings of August Natterer. The Public Library presents in its foyer and reading area an installation by Peter Riek; the DAI exhibition space shows unexpected views on and into the museum by the photographer Jochen Steinmetz. The Museum Haus Cajeth sees an encounter of several draughtsmen and women: Jörg Ahrnt, Julia Kuhl, Stefan Lausch, and Dorothee Rocke. And the Heidelberger Forum für Kunst brings together the responses of 27 artists of the BBK.
Thus the exhibition gives an overview of art in the 20th and 21st century from an eccentric but revealing perspective.

Museum Sammlung Prinzhorn

Klinik für Allgemeine Psychiatrie

Universitätsklinik Heidelberg

Voßstraße 2

D-69115 Heidelberg

Tuesday 3 May 2011


5 May to 5 June 2011

Wilkinson Gallery, London

in collaboration with Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne

Miroslav Tichý began taking photographs in the 1960s, continuing until the late 1980s, accumulating an expansive archive of images. Tichý originally studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he was an esteemed painter and draughtsman, taking a lively modernist approach to his artwork. In 1948, with the adoption of communism in Czechoslovakia, artists were enforced to produce work in the socialist realism manner, which Tichý determinedly rejected. In opposition, he and like-minded alumni formed an artist collective, the Brněnská Pětka (Brno Five), staging subversive exhibitions, which attracted continuous state surveillance. In 1957, the artist suffered a mental collapse - he was prone to psychological breakdowns from a young age - and this led to his removal from mainstream society, moving back to his small hometown, Kyjov. He became a non-conformist, eccentric character, half-conscious, half-delusional to his subversive outsider situation.

The artist devotedly wandered the streets, compiling a meticulous photographic archive of Kyjov. He mainly photographed the local women; the curvaceous contours of a body in motion, captured moments of sartorial revelation, smooth calves truncating from underneath full skirts, and remote utterances muttered between intimate sororities. He honoured women in bikinis, becoming a regular of the periphery of the local swimming pool, photographing from the other side of the fence, the metal mesh dissecting the surface of his images. He worked with a homemade camera that he fashioned from used materials, such as shoeboxes, rubber bands and tin cans, complete with makeshift telephoto lenses, polished with toothpaste and ashes. Tichý would then print on a homemade enlarger. He would subsequently adorn certain prints with pencil marks, highlighting the contours of a form, or decorating the edges with coloured cardboard borders, until the works were spilled scatteringly onto the floor, some used as beer mats, some nibbled by rats.

Tichý was an unobserved observer. His approach follows in the tradition of street photography; individuals roaming with lightweight cameras, shooting unsuspecting subjects, recording private moments occurring in public spaces. His photographs present the potential voyeuristic nature of the camera. His continuous contemplation of the female form refers his work to the tradition of high art, where the female nude is seen as the visual culmination of aesthetics. Tichý both celebrates and subverts the pictorial tradition of the nude. The soft focus, careful observation and caressing light provide the photographs with a painterly quality. Yet simultaneously their haphazard compositions and degraded surfaces distort the female form, reminding the viewer of family snapshots. Tichý reveals that the female nude can easily cross the thin line between nudity and nakidity, eroticism and illicitness, spilling into the realm of the pornographic. The ideology of realism, which imbues the photographic image, results in the increased sexualisation of the depicted body, reinforced by the tactile, fetishistic qualities latent in a photograph, diminishing the proximity between subject and viewer.

Tichý was fulfilling a scopophilic urge, whilst fuelling a subversive protest against the Soviet-satellite regime. His move from painting to photography permitted a continued individual artistic endeavour. Photography was less threatening to the Czech authorities than abstract painting. It was dismissible as an innocuous form of amateur documentation. Tichy positioned himself as the town eccentric, and as an outsider he was able to withdraw into the background, his ensuing invisibility providing him with the freedom to assume the role of an observer. His anonymity was an act of political and artistic intent.

The artist’s compulsive collecting of images mimicked the Czech government’s extensive surveillance regime. His archiving acted as a parody of the state’s obsessive observation, carried out with a seemingly inadequate caricature of a camera. The mechanism’s simplicity of conviction and the irreverence, with which he treated his images, becomes a satire of the inherent complexity and futility of a large government surveillance regime. Tichý was a dissident spy, persistently surveyed and incessantly surveying.

Tichý’s experience parallels the heightened state of surveillance and voyeurism that characterises our modern society. The exhibitionism we encounter in these photographs is now a constant impulse, in an age dominated by the accessible and intrusive nature of the Internet and CCTV. The difference between Tichý’s photographs and the plethora of images today, are that his photographs were not intended for public dissemination, but were driven by a private desire for visual and dissident pleasure. The aesthetic of Tichý’s photographs clash with the unsoiled lucidity of digital imagery, his photographs have been touched, not retouched. The grainy quality, the curled edges, the pencil marks, and the yellowing paper all characterise these images. They are structured by their limitations and their imperfections, and above all the presence of the artist himself. His circumstances, his persona and his idiosyncratic approach to photography all mark the final physical object, visually manifesting the reveries of a peeping dissident.

Miroslav Tichý’s photographs have only come to the public attention in the last seven years; inaugurated by his inclusion in the 2004 Seville Biennial, by eminent curator Harald Szeemann. Since 2004 several major international venues have mounted exhibitions, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008) and International Centre of Photography, New York (2010).

Miroslav Tichý died on 12 April 2011, aged 85.

This show was organized in collaboration with Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne.

All installation views of the Wilkinson Gallery by Peter White