Productive Image Interference: Sigmar Polke and Artistic Perspectives Today
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, November 13, 2021–March 6, 2022
with Kerstin Brätsch, Phoebe Collings-James, Raphael Hefti, Camille Henrot, Trevor Paglen, Sigmar Polke, Seth Price, Max Schulze, Avery Singer
Curated by Kathrin Barutzki and Nelly Gawellek (both Anna Polke Foundation) with Gregor Jansen (Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
with contributions by: Taslima Ahmed, Bice Curiger, Raphael Hefti, Camille Henrot, Alexander Kluge, Doreen Mende, Magnus Schäfer, students of the class of Marxt (formerly Odenbach) and others (Registration until 20 November 2021)
Online-Festival with lectures, artist talks, panel discussions, and films.
On the occasion of Sigmar Polke's 80th birthday and the associated anniversary project Productive Image Interference: Sigmar Polke and Artistic Perspectives Today the film maker and author Alexander Kluge developed a cinematic homage to Sigmar Polke.
The film was inspired by Polke's painting cycle Axial Age (2005/2007) and unfolds its own image and sound story. Here Kluge connects - with reference to Polke's works - the Axial Age theory coined by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers with other philosophical thinkers from the ancient world to today. The film images and invoked contexts lead from cave paintings to galaxies, to robots and A.I.
The film was released for the first time as part of the festival Productive Image Interference: Sigmar Polke and Artistic Perspectives Today, initiated by the Anna Polke Foundation.
PRODUCTIVE IMAGE INTERFERENCE: SIGMAR POLKE AND ARTISTIC PERSPECTIVES TODAY
An Anniversary Project by the Anna Polke Foundation to mark the 80th anniversary Sigmar Polke's birth, under the patronage of Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Fake news with manipulated images (even in high resolution), virtual reality, an infinite cosmos of increasingly widespread JPEG and GIF images: we have long lived with the awareness that we cannot trust our eyes and that pictures, whether produced manually or technically, do not so much depict reality as shape it – including transmission errors, degradation of quality, hacks, and other forms of interference. When Sigmar Polke was a student at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the early 1960s, his interest quickly turned to images of his time that were widely disseminated in the mass media. The transmission, interference, the transformation, and recoding of these images, including their resulting or revealed errors, became a motif and early trademark in his raster dot paintings.
Based on current research, which regards Sigmar Polke as a universal contemporary and a postmodern artist’s artist who makes use of a wide variety of visual and temporal contexts, the exhibition focuses for the first time on a specific approach that characterizes Polke’s oeuvre. Polke’s technique, his handling of different media, contexts, and materials, relies on the potential of the supposedly flawed, blurred, and mutable. His works play with the pleasure of the illusion of images and in so doing question the effectiveness of (manipulated) images in different ways and various media. This productive interference of images is also a central strategy for a current generation of artists. The selected works by contemporary international artists show new techniques and methods that illustrate how forms of visual interference remain a productive starting point for creative work today in the negotiation of cultural and political issues.
The exhibition catalog was published by Distanz-Verlag. The festival publication is in preparation.