A few days ago a friend of mine and I took a day trip to
together, that also included yet another visit
to the Haus der Kunst. (There are other musuems in Munich worth visiting, but somehow I often end up going there, because they have the shows that most interest me...) Of course, the Haus der Kunst in itself is an always impressive building,
outside and inside. Munich
|Outside facade with temporary installation of Jiddish words, |
put up onto the Nazi-building by Mel Bochner.
|Electric shift switch? Or art in itself?|
|Ancient organisms integrated into the building - |
for the visitors to step on...
This time I went to two different exhibitions, both of which I found very impressive.
The first is an overview of Kendell Geers’ works from 1988 to 2012. Geers is a white South-African with a working-class background, who begins his CV with the arrival of the first Dutch settlers at the
His work is full of political statements, and although the catalogue claims
that he has altered his original political approach to more spiritual
statements after a year’s break from making art in 2000, it remains very
political and provocative nevertheless.
He has used one of
most successful export goods – double sided barbed wire – to build labyrinths
for the visitor to walk through, arranges police batons in circles, spirals or
other patterns, sticks broken glass into various shapes and uses as a lot of
words in a variety of arrangements: South Africa
Very thought-provoking! This exhibit is still on until May 12, 2013.
The second exhibition was conceptual artist Mel Bochner’s “Wenn die Farbe sich ändert” (“When color chages”. (His website is here and an entry in wikipedia is here). I especially liked his text-paintings. (Pictures taken from the internet.)
But also the wall with two number lines: one had been written on masking tape, starting from the left, and then pieces of the tape had been removed. This line thus was interrupted. The other number line starts from the lower right corner, running consecutively, filling in the gaps that had been left by the removed masking tape. No picture of this one...
Interestingly enough, my friend witnessed a woman photographing the Blah-Blah-picture at the entrance platform to the exhibition who insisted in her argument with the guard (who wanted her to stop taking pictures) that she had to photograph this because Bochner had stolen her idea. (Though I would say that it does not take a whole lot of originalty of idea to put a text like “blah blah” into a painting, numerous comic strips have used the sequence before...)
And in the museum shop I found a postcard of a work by Sigmar Polke, which was similar to some of Bochner’s paintings and even the textual orientation, though at that moment I wasn’t sure which work was dated earlier than the other. But perhaps once that using text in (conceptual) art had established itself there isn’t that much stuff left to be truly original anymore?
This, too, was a very interesting exhibition, and is on until June 23.