Zeitfresser vs Silberling
"Some hours later Cooper took the packet of ash from his pocket, where earlier in the evening he had put it for greater security, and threw it angrily at a man who had given him great offence.
It bounced, burst, off the wall on to the floor, where at once it became the object of much dribbling, passing, trapping, shooting, punching, heading and even some recognition from the gentleman's code.
By closing time the body, mind and soul of Murphy were freely distributed over the floor of the saloon; and before another dayspring greyened the earth had been swept away with the sand, the beer, the butts, the glass, the matches, the spits, the vomit.“
As the story goes, in 1981 sculptor and painter Antonius Höckelmann was asked to decorate his favorite bar in Cologne, the "Kronenbraustuben" in the neighborhood of Eigelstein, in exchange for free drinks.
Höckelmann, who had moved back to Rheinland in 1970 after studying, working, and living—as an artist and as a postman—in Berlin for almost ten years, agreed.
During the regular opening hours of the bar, he began a work that would take him almost seven years.
Consisting of aluminum foil sculptures, wall paintings, found objects, and existing furniture, an installation grew along the bar's ceiling and upper walls.
Beasts and monsters appeared, as did hanged figures, scenes between aggression and attraction, mythical and antic characters, or portraits of friends and regulars (such as "Nasty Elfie," whereabouts unknown).
Over the course of time, the aluminum foil became gilded due to the nicotine from countless cigarettes smoked beneath.
In some parts, it seems Hockelmann loved this effect so much that he staged it with golden spray paint.
When the bar closed in 1987, he took down his installation and stored it in plastic bags.
Thanks to his son, Sebastian, the fragments were preserved, slightly decayed, yet viable.
It was the touching gaze of the guests and the warming, gilding smoke that they were now deprived of, and thereby of a transtemporal movement that incessantly passed back and forth from the antic myths through the biographical memory, the unconscious, and the bodies of the artist as well as nighthawks, and that connected, exchanged, charged, and informed the subjects through the wire of the conductive aluminum foil.
Consequently, one of the purposes of this exhibition is to integrate the undead into a new community of objects, bodies, and gestures.
Not in order to reconstruct or commemorate the past, even if that were deserved, but to initiate this very kind of renewing and remembering of circulation, which doesn't distinguish between Living and Dead, Subject and Object, or Today and Yesterday. It is because of his fearless exposure to this transmission that Hockelmann is now able to mingle among the living who also work with it.
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