The Politics of Heritage vs. the Heritage of Politics by renowned German artist activist Thomas Kilpper, is an ambitious exhibition comprising a large-scale site-specific floor carving, commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers to celebrate the launch and heritage of our new home Castle Mills.
Social cohesion and solidarity seem to have become more fragile today than ever before. Societies around the world are confronted with nationalist tendencies. The public perception of flight and immigration usually focuses on the challenges facing society. The artist Thomas Kilpper opposes this with a different perspective: What does the loss of homeland mean for fugitives? Is the social uprooting, which means flight, countered by the people in the places of arrival, or is it even intensified? Can uprooting also open up new opportunities?
The exhibition begins with Thomas Kilpper’s new series “Burn-out” with charcoal drawings of burning refugee shelters. At the heart of the exhibition is an uprooted tree using parts of the old maple tree that fell in a storm in summer 2017 in front of the gallery in Körnerpark. In this expansive installation, the artist integrates new woodcuts, portraits of people who were exposed to racist violence or who resisted it. In addition to clearly right-wing extremist attacks and assaults, he directs special attention to cases in which racism is suspected to be a motif of crime, as in the murders of Burak Bektaş and Luke Holland in Neukölln. Thomas Kilpper sees his installation as a critique of violence, but also as an impulse for an open and solidary coexistence.
Curated by Dorothee Bienert
Exhibition opening: December 6, 2013 7pm Duration of exhibition: December 7, 2013 – February 16, 2014 Opening hours: Wed – Fri 2 – 6 pm, Sat 1 – 4 pm
The work GÜNTER SARE refers to a violent police operation in Frankfurt in 1985 against an anti-fascist demonstration. During the police operation Günter Sare was hit by a water cannon and fatally injured. The demonstration was directed against an event of the NPD in the Bürgerhaus Gallus in the year before the so-called Auschwitz trial took place. The worn out tires of a water cannon of the Frankfurt police were now used as a printing block…
Exhibition opening at the Ex-Chinese restaurant at Budapest 1114, Bartók Béla út 29. Opening: 5th November, 6pm Opening times: 5th – 17th November, 4-7pm
Participating artist: Mike Ainsworth, Sós József, Zékány Dia, Aubrey Ramage Lay, Davor Paponja, Laura Arena, Levko Esztella, Erlich Gábor, Kis Judit, Pálinkás Bence György, Bogyó Virág (PR Csoport), Hódi Csilla (PR Csoport)
A workshop led by: Thomas Kilpper
Organised by IGOR METROPOL, “Social Responsibility in Art Today” (SRIAT) is a two-week initiative comprised of an artists’ workshop, an exhbition At Wang’s and a public discussion at Ludwig Museum. The project aims at inquiring into the possibilities of art as a factor of social change through different means. SRIAT’s goal is to give a time frame and space for experimental approaches towards relevant issues like freedom of speech, domestic violence, nationalism/ internationalism, identity, capitalism, democracy…, introducing a collective artistic work field. The workshop is led by Berlin based artist Thomas Kilpper. Following an open call, 12 participants from Hungary and abroad were selected to collaborate with Kilpper in a think-tank format. The participants are working at Wang’s, a former Chinese restaurant. The restaurant’s walls have been turned into an “open diary” constantly updated by the participants. The inner part of the space has been transformed into a shelter, using the interior design of the formal restaurant. The shelter is also a site for personal statements from the participants. In addition, there are sound- and video installations, intervention documentations and a live-performance. The place has been continuously transformed during the workshop, during the two-week long process. The participants explore various politically or culturally charged sites of Budapest. The demonstrations of the National Holiday on October 23 served as a field study for investigating the Hungarian political situation. They targeted a number of public statues, for example Ronald Reagan, a bronse policeman, among others. These ‘guerilla sculptures’ address social and political issues like the banning of dumpster-diving or censorship. The documentation is displayed on found video tapes refering to DIY-tactics of political activism.
The project SRIAT: Social Responsibility in Art Today was organized by Igor Metropol Association in collaboration with the Intermedia, the Art Theory and Curatorial Studies Departments of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest. Supported by: ifa and NKA.
The exhibition ETNA CARRARA presents works by the nine artists who were awarded the renowned Villa Romana Prize in 2011 and 2012: Wolfgang Breuer, Nine Budde, Thomas Kilpper, Henrik Olesen, Sophie Reinhold, Yorgos Sapountzis, Nora Schultz, Rebecca Ann Tess and Vincent Vulsma.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Thomas Kilpper will develop a 15 x 4 metre banner for the façade of the Ludwig Forum Aachen, which is a partial impression of his floor work for the Venice Biennale 2011. The wooden floor of the “Pavilion for Revolutionary Freedom of Speech” with its 33 portraits of politicians served as a printing block for the large-format banner.
This exhibition features a major installation by the German artist Thomas Kilpper, entitled Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech. The work was originally created for the group exhibition Speech Matters at the Danish Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, where it took the form of a raised wooden platform attached to the exhibition building …
PRESS RELEASE: dispari&dispari project is pleased to invite you on Saturday February 11, 2012 to the opening of the exhibition “Venetian Prints”, the second solo show by Thomas Kilpper (Stuttgart, 1956) at dispari&dispari project. This time Kilpper transforms the exhibition space into a printing office laying out the wooden floor of his “Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech” that he made last year for the Danish Pavilions “Speech Matters” exhibition within the 54th Venice Biennial. For the first time he now has the opportunity and working conditions to use his 140 square meters large floor-cut from the Venice Biennial as a template to do large-scale prints on paper and fabrics.
In this work Kilpper refers to social issues such as censorship, abuse of freedom of expression or the exclusion of parts of mankind or the society. However the main focus is set on the general situation in Europe, where within the last 20 years a shift in political power did happen: The once marginal factions of the extreme right have moved closer to the centers of power. This development was to be seen from France to Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium to Hungary and Austria… Kilpper stresses this has to be stopped and turned by a new move towards freedom, emancipation and social equality. “I want an open Europe, where we all live with equal rights, especially with the immigrants and refugees from other cultures”, Kilpper states in an interview with the German press agency, dpa.
The exhibition is open until April 15, 2012, for more information visit www.dispariedispari.org Thanks for the support to Maramotti Collection / Max Mara, Reggio Emila
below fotos show work in progress at in Reggio Emilia
Interview: Thomas Kilpper, Florenz - with Thomas Borchert, DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur), Kopenhagen
Question: There has been a very strong and almost unanimous negative response from Copenhagen to your installation at the Danish Biennale Pavilion. How did you experience this echo?
Tonight I dreamed of Asta Nielsen, she was a cabaret artist and played the Danish Defence Minister in a television speech: “I have to put my soldiers on alert! What foreign artists have done here is not just an embezzlement of Danish taxpayers’ money, it is a declaration of war on our nation! They have received our money! And their thanks? To criticise us! That has never happened before! For the good of our nation we must reclaim our taxpayers’ money! Our soldiers are ready to defend our nation against this shame!” – Asta was great and in her exaggeration she hit the nail on the head. The excitement about the Danish pavilion in Venice is beyond reason.
Question: What is your actual intention with the installation?
My intention was to create a work of art full of intensity that carries within itself the contradiction of being a romantic pavilion, an open place in the green, a place that invites you to linger, but which then, when you enter it, turns out to be an accumulation of enormous conflict potentials. Need and reality collide. As in real life.
Is it about the abuse of freedom of opinion?
Yes, also, as about current tendencies of censorship, but not only. In this work I focus on the general situation in Europe, where there has been a shift in power in the last 20 years: the once marginal right-wing splinter groups have moved to the centres of power, this development is catastrophic. I try to make this development visible and find an artistic answer to it. My work is a reputation: we must put an end to it, we need a fundamental change, an emancipatory departure. I want an open Europe, where we live together on an equal footing with everyone, including immigrants and refugees from other cultures.
Question: Do you, as the media in Denmark have said, want to encourage visitors to step into portraits of politicians?
That’s nonsense, my work “Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech” contains a “Speakers Corner” with a large megaphone that every visitor can use for spontaneous speeches, as well as a floor piece. I transformed the entire floor area, approx. 150 sqm, into a woodcut. Fact is, the visitors can enter this woodcut. That is also the special thing, they stand in the middle of the work of art. At their feet are these figures, which are partly equipped with great power. For a brief moment, the visitors experience a perspective that turns the real power relations upside down. Of course, they can determine for themselves how and where they move and position themselves in the picture. It would be a complete contradiction to my way of thinking to give guidelines here. After the exhibition I intend to make a complete impression of the picture, perhaps the traces of the visitors will be visible on it. So the work continues to develop in the sense of a social sculpture.
Question: What do you think when in Danish newspaper commentaries your work is practically consistently dismissed as “flat provo art”, “art of abuse” or “ridiculous”?
Many artists – including well-known ones – have already been confronted with insults of this kind; I would wish for a sophisticated form of controversy. Whoever perceives my art attentively will notice that it is a call to differentiation. 33 portraits – they all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth and yet they all embody individual persons. Curator Bice Curiger or Paolo Baratta, director of the Venice Biennale, a self-portrait of myself, Thilo Sarrazin, Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict. No one can seriously claim that everyone is in the same position and in the same responsibility. Nevertheless, I contradict everyone, only for different reasons.
In view of the fierceness with which my work is attacked in Denmark, it is remarkable that not a single journalist has contradicted it even on one point: the Pope does not clear up the sexual assaults of his priests, instead he agitates inhumanly against homosexuals, Berlusconi has a secretary of state who receives her post after she says she is proud to be a fascist, the Greek government wants to build a fence to Turkey in order to obstruct migrants’ access to Europe…, the Hungarian government reintroduces the censorship of the media…, for me this is all material for resolute contradiction. I think my work of art is making such high waves because it develops fundamental criticism of political conditions in a prominent place with unusual unambiguity.
Question: Denmark’s Minister of Culture Møller has criticised that only two out of 18 artists participating in the Danish Biennale Pavilion are Danes. Can you understand that?
Malte-Bruns would have turned around in his grave and shouted to the minister: “My son, what you’re saying is a disgrace…” The orientation of the Danish Pavilion across national borders is a groundbreaking step. Of course, this does not mean that there are no outstanding artists in Denmark. Maybe one day they will actually be seen in the German, British and certainly in the Danish pavilion. I don’t define myself by “being German”. I found the hospitality of the Danish Arts Council phenomenal and was very impressed.
Question: Has your image of Denmark changed as a result of the public reactions to your installation? How do you experience the climate of debate there in comparison to Germany?
Yes, I am astonished that there doesn’t seem to be any critical, left-wing media that form their own opinion, research and write in a well-founded way. But that fits into the pan-European picture, which confirms to me how important clear signs of protest and resistance are. I hope, however, that they will soon be there again, the fish that swim against the tide, that start a debate on content and oppose the politics of exclusion, mockery and racism.
Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst e.V. Oranienstraße 25 | 10999 Berlin
January 22 – February 13, 2011 Opening: January 21, 7pm
Scholarship holders of the Berlin Senate’s Working Scholarship for Visual Arts 2010
Every year, artists are awarded a scholarship by the Berlin Senate. This year again, the RealismusStudio of the NGBK will present the works of the artists living in Berlin in the exhibition “Selected Artists 2010”. Artists: Matthias Einhoff, Lars Teichmann, Nezaket Ekici, Karolin Meunier, Heimo Lattner, Ingo Gerken, Maya Bajevic, Egill Saebjörnsson, Amir Fattal, Johannes Paul Raether, Carsten Fock, Stephanie Kloss, Thomas Kilpper, Ulf Aminde and Swantje Hielscher
Thomas Kilpper, who received international attention especially for his artistic interventions in vacant buildings, will produce a new series of small drawings entitled “After War Krauts” for his exhibition at Galerie WOLFSTÆDTER. In this series he deals in a very special way with German post-war history. Kilpper’s current work is based on …Paul Swiridoff’s photographs. Swiridoff (1914-2002) set a monument to the West German post-war elite in three opulent illustrated books by Konrad Adenauer, Joseph Strauss, Ernst Jünger, Hermann J. Abs, Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick. Kilpper alienates and dissects these portraits with the simplest of artistic means. In the process, these formerly powerful people experience a peculiar form of deconstruction and decomposition. Photography as a means of transmitting the representation of power is undermined and counteracted. Kilpper’s installation thus becomes a tension-laden, anti-authoritarian historical tableau of post-war West German history.
My work was commissioned and created as part of the Fokus Biennale 2010, Lodz: squat or be damned, 2010: ‘Dekorative Barikaden’, in front of five different empty buildings, all of which stand on Pietrowska, Europe’s longest boulevard in Lodz.
The Public Art Festival Tumult invites you to the Opening of Thomas Kilpperʼs Anemonevej Surprises and Tumult Finissage Party! Saturday, October 16 – Nakskov, Anemonevej 1-27
Programme 17.00: introduction/guided tour by Thomas Kilpper 18.30: The local Nakskov groups Ghetto Pearls, Lopʼg boyz and Double Es play and dance 20.00: Live concert with Gunni og Nitterne – the Copenhagen quartet plays gypsy, folk and punk 22 – : DJ David Prytz (Kilpperʼs assistant)
Tumult will offer cheap beers, drinks and soup all night. Bring your sleeping bag and stay the night at Kilpperʼs temporary straw-hostel at Anemonevej 27.
Free bus ride from Copenhagen, starting at 11 am, including guided tour to some of the Tumult art projects and a city walk in Nakskov by artist Frans Jacobi. Bus leaves at 11 am from Ingerslevgade (Cph Main Station), sign up to info[at]tumult.dk before 13 October, 12 am