Posts Tagged ‘Duisburg

25
Jun
13

Exhibition: ‘Gilbert & George – London Pictures’ at MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg

Exhibition dates: 20th March 20 – 30th June 2013

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I used to think that Gilbert & George’s work was inventive and relevant, that it had something important to say about contemporary culture. These days I am not so sure. It seems all to easy to rip headlines from the tabloid newspapers. Who cares about dog, death, money, school, cute kids, etc… as commented on by these pulp editions. Gilbert & George seem to have become a pastiche of themselves, cartoon cut-outs hovering in contextless backgrounds with staring eyes and gormless faces. “I am contextless, unhappily spinning in the vacuum of my own indolence,” the work seems to be saying. We already know that we are becoming a society of shortened, fractured words and sentences on mobile phones and in newspaper headlines, of absence/presence where people absent themselves from their surroundings while on mobile devices, we all know that already… I don’t think it takes mediocre art to point it out. It’s not very insightful (as Gilbert & George used to be).

I think they need a good boot up the bum to get them back to making work that takes the viewer somewhere, that actually challenges people’s belief systems, not some pulp driven comment on contemporary culture. Take a look at their early work if you don’t believe what I am saying: look at how alive the pictures were, how much vitality and energy they had, and how challenging the work was!

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Many thankx to the Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Gilbert & George. 'Lick' 1977

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Gilbert & George
Lick
1977

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1977-queer

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Gilbert & George
Queer
1977

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Gilbert & George. 'Dog' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Dog
2011
© Gilbert & George / Courtesy of the Artist and White Cube Gallery

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Gilbert & George. 'Money' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Money
2011
© Gilbert & George

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Gilbert & George. 'School Straight' 2011

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Gilbert & George
School Straight
2011
© Gilbert & George / Courtesy of the Artist and White Cube Gallery

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Gilbert & George. 'Death' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Death
2011
© Gilbert & George

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“Completed in 2011, “London Pictures” is the title of the cycle created by the London-based artists Gilbert & George, to which the eponymous exhibition in the MKM from March 20, 2013, is dedicated. Taking as their theme the countless newsagent posters collected by the artists themselves over a period of six years, the artists compile a detailed inventory of quotidian human behaviour, which they then submit to their hallmark humanistic gaze, and in so doing, furnish their own perspective on the psycho-social condition of our Western societies. What emerges is an extensive series of images from which the MKM is, for the first time, showcasing 70 individual pictures and affording visitors the opportunity to intensively explore this new phase from the oeuvre of Gilbert & George.

In their “London Pictures” Gilbert & George have collated the newspaper posters, which, not only in London, but across England, garnish the sales stands of the newspaper dealers. Their explicit allusions to the most titillating, violent and bizarre stories of the day are designed to entice potential customers to buy the newspapers. These simple statements of facts promise tales of love and sex, violence and death, wealth and power -themes, which have fascinated humanity since time immemorial, and which expose our endless appetite for sensation, disaster and excess. Gilbert & George have taken 3712 images of these advertising posters, processed the material, arranged it according to themes and fashioned it into 292 carefully-created pictures. Not only are the artists documenting a commonly-used device within the marketing strategies of the Western press, they are also exploring its impact on both the individual and society as a whole, and applying artistic means to articulate their own response to, and perception of, this social phenomenon. “The “London Pictures” should not in the first instance be read as a critique of the media, but perhaps as a critique of ourselves”, explains MKM Director Walter Smerling, adding that: “Gilbert & George borrow the language of the media, place it in a different context and in so doing transform these newspapers posters into a new entity vested with an entirely new content. The careful collation and arrangement of hundreds of headlines (…) forges a platform for reflection which casts the spotlight on to our own complicity, intrigues and problems of existence.”

“The artists of course feature in their pictures: in the background as a pair of quizzical, piercing eyes or as a ubiquitous, immaculately besuited presence, appearing” (…) “as though the artists were psychic manifestations of the city itself, its sense of place and history. The “London Pictures” comprise both a directory of quotidian urban human behavior – revealing and shocking and violent, in all its sluggish or volatile momentum – and as such the city’s moral portrait: an unflinching audit of modern western society’s relationship to itself, stripped of rhetoric or intellectual disguise.” (Michael Bracewell, author of the catalogue). Yet beyond focussing on the city of London itself, Gilbert & George also cast themselves directly as integral constituents of our society’s media landscape and its psychic condition. Their unrelenting gaze interrogates not only the message of the posters, but is trained at the observer who also becomes an essential part of each and every picture.

Gilbert & George are seeking to portray the “grandeur, mystery and drama” of our Western world. From competitions to find the cutest child to gruesome tales of murder and mayhem -the whole gamut of human experience is represented here and exercises an equally ineluctable fascination on readers in Germany: For as the artists themselves remark, the “London Pictures” and “London Problems” could just as easily be “Duisburg Pictures” and “Duisburg Problems”.

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Biography

Gilbert (born in 1943 in St. Martin in Thurn, Italy) studied at the Wolkenstein School of Art in South Tyrol, the Hallein School of Art in Austria, and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, before attending St. Martin’s School of Art in London. There, in 1967, he met George (born in 1942 in Plymouth, UK), who had previously been a student at Dartington Hall College of Art and Oxford Art School. During the 1960s, Gilbert & George expanded the concept of sculpture by making themselves the materials for their art, as Living Sculptures. They declared everyday activities to be art, and provoked opposition by using faeces, urine and sperm as principal motifs in their picture series. They were awarded the 1986 Turner Prize, exhibited in the British Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale, and has held exhibitions in venues ranging from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1971 and 1996) to Guggenheim Museum, New York (1985), Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (1997) and London’s Tate Modern (2007). Other major public exhibitions have been mounted in Russia (1990) and China (1993).”

Press release from the MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst website

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Gilbert & George. 'Kills' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Kills
2011
© Gilbert & George

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Gilbert & George. 'Woman' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Woman
2011
© Gilbert & George

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Gilbert & George. 'Cute Kids' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Cute Kids
2011
© Gilbert & George

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Gilbert & George. 'Stabbings' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Stabbings
2011
© Gilbert & George

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Gilbert & George. 'Sex Pest' 2011

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Gilbert & George
Sex Pest
2011
151 x 127 cm
© Gilbert & George / Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg, Paris

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The British artists George Passmore (L) and Gilbert Prousch (R) pass in front of one of their art work 'London Pictures'

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The British artists George Passmore (L) and Gilbert Prousch (R) pass in front of one of their art work ‘London Pictures’ as they arrive for a press conference at the museum Kueppersmuehle in Duisburg, western Germany, on March 14, 2013. AFP PHOTO / CAROLINE SEIDEL

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MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst
Philosophenweg 55, 47051 Duisburg
Germany
T: +49 (0)203 30 19 48 -10/-11

Opening Hours:
Wed 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Thu – Sun 11.00 am – 6.00 pm
Bank Holidays 11.00 am – 6.00 pm

MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst website

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28
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Hans-Christian Schink: Photographs 1980 to 2010’ at MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art, Duisburg

Exhibition dates:  1st July – 3rd October 2011

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Many thankx to MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Hans-Christian Schink
9/17/2006, 8:45 am – 9:45 am, N 78°13.370′ E 015°40.024′
2006
Serie 1h
Silbergelatineabzug auf Barytpapier
© Hans-Christian Schink
MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Sammlung Ströher

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Hans-Christian Schink
A2 – Elbebrücke bei Magdeburg
2003
Serie Traffic Projects German Unity
C-Print
© Hans-Christian Schink
Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Neues Museum

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Hans-Christian Schink
A20 – Peenebrücke Jarmen
2002
Series Traffic Projects German Unity
C-Print
© Hans-Christian Schink
Privatsammlung Berlin

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Hans-Christian Schink
Ba Be (1)
2005
Series Vietnam
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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“The best present of my life was most probably the simple role-film camera I received for my seventh birthday”, recalls Hans-Christian Schink, one of Germany’s leading contemporary photographers. The works by the Erfurt-born photographer, who today lives in Leipzig and who regularly travels the globe to create his photo-series, are represented in public and private collections worldwide. His photographs are also on view in the MKM’s presentation of the Ströher Collection since many years.

The MKM is now showing the most comprehensive exhibition to date of works by Hans-Christian Schink whose oeuvre has wielded a crucial impact on German photography. Approximately 100 large-format works afford an illuminating insight into his output until the present day, and impressively chart the development of his own distinct artistic signature.

Schink began his study of photography at the renowned Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig where he was a master-class student from 1991 to 1993. From the very outset Schink worked with series. A key thrust of his oeuvre is his exploration of the transition between the urban and the rural, nature and culture and architectural intervention in the landscape. He finds his motifs both in his immediate environs, initially in eastern Germany, and also on his carefully planned journeys across the world, from North Korea, via the USA to the Antarctic. A further pre-occupation is the photographic rendering of light phenomena and moods.

For the first time, the MKM is exhibiting a selection of small-format black-white photos from the early1980s, together with the first colour photographs from the artist’s student days. Schink initially focused both on daily scenes in the cities of Leipzig, Erfurt and Halle, and on the abstract visual quality of architectural detail. During his studies he discovered colour photography and began working with a large-format camera, initially in the series “Leipziger Bäder” (“Leipzig Baths”, 1988), whose empty, dilapidated interiors bear poignant witness to a by-gone age. Since this time, people in his pictures exist merely as traces of their intervention in the environment.

The artist first commanded worldwide attention with the series “Verkehrsprojekte Deutsche Einheit” (“Traffic Projects German Unity”, 1995-2003). Here he addressed the radical transformation of the landscape through the expansion of the motorway and rail network in eastern Germany.

The series “Wände” (“Walls”, 1995-2003) explored the question of how authentic the representation of reality is. Schink took frontal shots of the prefabricated architecture of unpretentious commercial buildings and melded them into almost abstract colour-fields. Merely the narrow borders adumbrate what we are seeing. To find his motifs, the artist embarks on journeys beyond the confines of Europe, taking him to countries such as Brazil, Japan, Cambodia, North Korea, Peru, the USA or Vietnam. His main objective is not the representation of exotic motifs, but the portrayal of the interface and the dialogue between anthropogenic structures and the natural landscape.

The award-winning series “1h” (2002-2010) unites diverse aspects of his oeuvre: the interest in natural phenomena and light situations and his reflection on the possibilities of depicting reality through the medium of photography. Schink photographs the sun at various locations throughout the world, using exposure times of one hour. Together, the over-exposure and light intensity conjure a spectre which cannot be perceived by the human eye and which only becomes visible as a solarisation when captured by analogue photography: a black sunbeam, surrounded by a glowing corona. The resulting images render visible an unreal depiction of reality and confront the viewer with a Nature suspended between imagination and representation.”

Press release from the MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art website

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Hans-Christian Schink
Bach Ma (2A)
2005
Series Vietnam
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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Hans-Christian Schink
Sanitz
2003
Series Walls
C-print
Hans-Christian Schink
MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Sammlung Ströher

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Hans-Christian Schink
St Petersburg (3)
1989
Series St Petersburg
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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Hans-Christian Schink
LA Night #10
2003
Series LA Night
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink
Galerie Rothamel Erfurt/Frankfurt a.M.

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Hans-Christian Schink
Seehausen
1996
Series Walls
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art
Inner Harbour, Duisburg
Philosophenweg 55
D – 47051 Duisburg, Germany

Opening hours:
Wed 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Thu / Fri / Sat / Sun 11.00 am – 6.00 pm

MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Mask’ 1994

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