Talking Picture Blues: works

Diverse artists for Le Petit Journal / Le Petit Parisien
Thematically arranged illustrated newspapers and color inserts, ca. 1892-1910
Courtesy Alexander Roob, Collection Melton Prior Institute for Reportage Drawing and Print Culture, Düsseldorf

Dierk Schmidt
„Broken Windows 3.0“, 2013/14
oil on acrylic panels, C-prints on cardboard
Courtesy Galerie Ursula Walbröl, Düsseldorf
“These works have a common point of reference in a very specific situation in Berlin right now. 
The so-called Centre of Berlin presents the construction site of a building just in concrete, rising up on the second level, which is scheduled to open in 2018. It is the object of an ongoing public debate that already lasts fifteen years, a step the German Parliament decided in July 2002 for the much-contested reconstruction of the historical Prussian city palace – which includes the demolition of the adjacent former Palace of the Republic in 2006. In a new spectacular building project called the “Humboldt Forum”, collections from the Ethnological Museum, from the Museum of East Asian Art as well as parts from the Central and Regional Libraries of Berlin will be put on display. On the one hand, this debate arises around the question of the specific imagination of the so-called “Berlin Republic“ in recent history, before and after World War II. It has found its expression in the restoration and reopening of Berlin Museums as parts of the “Museum Island”.
The selection of the image essay Staging with Artefacts elaborates on this representative situation using the example of the Neues Museum, and this essay is expanded by some paintings. There is another field in this exhibition that I base in Berlin but which raises general questions: It is the official handling of “sensitive artefacts” of collections whose possession results from the colonial context, specifically in the 19th century, opening a discussion that situates itself between the possibilities of a provenance research, of restitution or a sharing of heritage objects. Again these objects – if there are not kept from the public gaze in storage vaults – find themselves in a situation of being displayed – which means that they are also in use as elements in a museal argument. The exhibition in Quimper combines the two mentioned works with the work On the Revision of a Glass Showcase from 2013 as well as with Two Vitrines from 2014. The first has a focus on a specific object taken from the Kingdom of Benin, whereas in contrast Two Vitrines presents an active use of the vitrine as a functional means for the reflection of the artefact, vs. its provenance, its display, its possession.” (Dierk Schmidt)

Giorgio Vasari (1511­–1574)
„Libro de’ disegni“, ca.1480–1504

Franz John
„The photocopied gallery“, 1987
Galerie Paranorm, West-Berlin
„Using a hand-held and battery-operated photo-copier, John painstakingly copied the entire gallery and pasted the resulting strips of xerox paper back over the surfaces from which they had been generated. The performance ended with the doors that gave access to the gallery being pasted over with strips of xerox paper. The installation was in this way ‚completed’ in a manner which made it impossible for the work to be viewed in a ‚resolved’ state (since a part of the work would be ‚destroyed’ by anyone entering the gallery) (...).“ (Stewart Home, Festival of Plagiarism, London, 1988)

CD-ROM, 1999-2000
A CD-ROM exploration of the entire „death strip“ inside the Berlin Wall.
Border fortifications were still controlled and enforced in February 1990, when Franz John took his video camera on his first bicycle ventures into the so-called „death strip“ to get in touch with what had until recently been untouchable. He was not primarily interested in a view from the West to the East, but more in what he began to call the „interzone“ – the forbidden area between the two walls. Almost accidently this „material“ has become what is likely the most comprehensive documentation of the Berlin Wall and its dismantling.
The CD-ROM „Interzone“ invites viewers to enter into a complex visual trip through time over all 180kms of the „death strip“ and border fortifications which existed in and around Berlin for more than 30 years. It rather playfully combines historical images and video-based materials with the artistic dream worlds of the likes of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky or American writer William S. Burroughs. Black holes, floating „zeros“ and randomly controlled animations transport viewers into unexpected realities, thus creating a bizarre cosmic vacuum and energy field.

„Vision“, 1989
Courtesy of the artist
Video recording of a laser beam – The oscillating phenomena have been created by directing a laser beam onto the light-sensitive CCD chip of a digital video camera.

Romana Schmalisch
„Mobile Cinema“, 2009–, DVD, ca. 60’
„Mobile cinema“ is an apparatus which the artist demonstrates in various cities, accompanying the screenings by experimental lectures. „Mobile cinema“ is a reconstruction of a film prop from Alexander Medvedkin’s film „The New Moscow“ (1938), consisting of a projection and viewing table. Using this bizarre device – which is a strange blend of an urban model, cinema and plate camera — the principal character of the film, a young engineer, presents his designs and urban visions for the new city on his way to Moscow – blending small scale model architectures with the projected space of the background. Similar to this movie character, Romana Schmalisch travels to various places with the „Mobile Cinema“ and presents some of her as well as other artists’ films. Her works is an ongoing research on urban space, the changes of urban space, and the social changes that come with them.

Film Program:
Winsor McCay, 12’07“, 1918
Romana Schmalisch, HD, 2013, 8’47“
after notes from Sergei Eisenstein, 1946
Robert Schlicht, DV, 27’52“, 2009
Romana Schmalisch, 16mm, 4’30“, 2005
Text: SYMMETRY OF THE SELF, Megan Francis Sullivan
Romana Schmalisch, DV, 4’02“, 2003
Romana Schmalisch, DV, 3’32“, 2009
Romana Schmalisch, Super 8, 5’, 2005
Winsor McCay, 13’51“,1914

 이미연 Miyeon Lee
바다2“, 2008
Carbon paper drawing on paper
Courtesy of the artist
정서영 Seoyoung Chung
”Monster Map“, 2009
Water color on paper
Courtesy of the artist

 윤향로 Hyangro Yoon
“A3-876”, “A3-1751”, “A3-2087”, “A3-3515”, 2013
„296“, 2013
112, 2013, 17x26cm
Pigment print, edition 1/5
Courtesy of the artist

Charles L. „Bart“ Bartholomew (1869–1949)
„Chalk Talk and Crayon Presentation.
A Handbook of Practice and Performance in Pictorial Expression of Ideas“, 1922

Viola Rusche
“Sprechblasenbilder”, 1997
Courtesy Galerie Ursula Walbröl, Düsseldorf, and the artist

Austin Osman Spare
“The Book of Satyrs”, 1904
Illustrated book, from an edition of 300
Kim Kim Gallery, Seoul

 Andreas Siekmann
„Ocean Cruise“
from: „The Exclusive. On the Politics of the Exclusive Fourth“
Computer drawings, digital prints
Drawings created with the painting functionality of Microsoft Word
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin

8-part excerpt from a 92-part series of computer drawings that is, as a whole, structured like a timeline showing diverse political zones of exclusion. Blending all kinds of media images into images of an almost allegorical character and of great density, it creates a visual storyline that is guided by the two ghost-like shapes of Dante and Virgil – referencing Dante’s late middle age ‚Divine Comedy’. This excerpt (‚Ocean Cruise) shows the ‚credit card paradise’ found on board of cruise liners that stand in stark contradiction to the exploitation of its service workers as well as to the view on the sea with its daily drama, the fates of the refugees – and the exploitation of African coasts made possible by overfishing contracts.
There is actually a real cruise liner called ‚Freedom of the Seas’. My protagonist cruise liner is called ‚Comte d’Hérouville’ (a historical reference to a ship that shows on top Voltaire’s theatre play ‚Alzire or the Americans’ of 1736; slaves were transported under the deck oft hat ship). The last picture represents the „boat cemetery“ left behind by the flow of refugees.

 The whole series conflates images of the conditions of the refugees and worker, the global organization of power and its traces in the personal decisions of the people. At the same time, this power expresses itself in its image productions. I understand my work as a production of counter-images as well as a kind of political diary of this time.“ (Andreas Siekmann)

Walter Benjamin
“Piet Mondrian 63 – 69”, 1987
Lecture in Ljubljana, VHS video transfer, 22’33”

In 1986, Walter Benjamin delivered a lecture on Piet Mondrian at the Marxist Center in Ljubljana. In this lecture, entitled Mondrian 63–96, Benjamin presents several works of the abstract artist ranging in date from 1963 to 1996. It was originally broadcast on Belgrade TV (TV Galerija).
Walter Benjamin was an influential philosopher and art theoretician, best known for his 1936 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In 1986—many years after his tragic death—Walter Benjamin reappeared again in public with the lecture “Mondrian 63–96” organized by the Marxist Center in Ljubljana. In recent years, Mr. Benjamin became an associate of the Museum of American Art in Berlin, giving interviews and publishing articles on art, originality, museums, art history, etc. After a long pause he appeared again in public in 2011 with the lecture “The Unmaking of Art,” first at the Times Museum in Guangzhou and then at the Arnolfini in Bristol. The same lecture was repeated in 2012 at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City, Transit in Budapest, Institutions by Artists in Vancouver and most recently at Le Plateau in Paris (2013) and at Kunstsaele, Berlin (2014).
Also cf. “Walter Benjamin: Recent Writings,” published by New Documents (

Karin Sander
„Wandstück“, 2015 (1986)
Polished wall paint
Courtesy of Galerie Esther Schipper, Berlin, and the artist

Moritz Fehr
„Mojave (A Person Was Here)“, 2013
Stereoscopic video with ambisonic surround sound
3D Blue Ray, 5.1. Audio Channels, 22’41“

„Colosseum“, 2015
Stereoscopic video with ambisonic surround sound
3D Blue Ray, 5.1. Audio Channels, 11’

The Velaslavasay Panorama, Los Angeles
„The Grand Moving Mirror of California“
(Travelling Edition, 2013)
In July of 2010, a narrator, a pianist, crankers and craftsmen lead a presentation of Dr. L.E. Emerson’s tale of the California Gold Rush in the theater of The Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles, California. The 1853 script was originally accompanied by a scroll, lost to the sands of time. The 270 foot long (82.29 m) panorama was thus recreated and re-imagined by Sara Velas, Guan Rong, Erik Newman, Rosco Posada, Ruby Carlson, Khylin Woodrow, Kate Kohler, Tony Abatemarco, among others.  This reproduction was brought about years later for the purposes of traveling exhibition.

Stefan Ettlinger
Untitled“, 2012
16-part series, graphite on paper
Courtesy Galerie Ursula Walbröl, Düsseldorf; Kim Kim Gallery, Seoul

Sequenz“, 2013
10-part series, charcoal, pencil & egg tempera on medium-density fibreboard
Courtesy Galerie Ursula Walbröl, Düsseldorf; Kim Kim Gallery, Seoul

Chris Ware (with Ira Glass)
“Lost Buildings”, 2004
DVD, 22’
The story of a boy named Tim Samuelson, who became obsessed with old buildings, especially the buildings of Louis Sullivan in Chicago, during the 1960's and 70's when they were being torn down. Lost Buildings is a collaboration between Ira Glass and graphic novelist Chris Ware: Ira did the sound, Chris did hundreds of drawings. The result is a 22-minute story, with sound and images, that has never been heard on the radio (it was originally produced as part of a live ‘This American Life’ stage show).

René Magritte (1898–1967)
“L’homme au journal”, 1928
Art print, ordered on eBay
Original: Tate Gallery Collection, London
Oil on canvas, 115.5 x 81 cm

Francesco Colonna (1433/34–1527)
From “Hypnerotomachia Polifili –
The Strife of Love in a Dream”, 1499
Printed in Venice by Aldo Manuzio

Villard de Honnecourt
ca. 1220
MS Fr 19093, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

Shane Simmons
Longshot Comics, vol. 1: The Long and Unlearned Life of Roland Gethers
Longshot Comics, vol. 2: The Failed Promise of Bradley Gethers
Slave Labor Graphics, San Jose, California, 1995f.

Margaret Mead (1901–1978), US-American cultural anthropologist, points and explains.

Harpo Marx (1888–1964)

Salvador Dalí drawing a portrait of Harpo Marx playing the barbed-wire harp that was the painter’s gift, 1937

Katsuhiro Otomo
After Winsor McCay, 1980s

Winsor McCay (1867–1934)
Excerpt from „Little Nemo“, 1905–1926

Photos by Photolook
June. 2015

No comments: