Works in Dialogue with the Klosterfelde Collection
Selected by Wilhelm Klotzek
Helga Maria & Walter Klosterfelde, Hamburg
Open by appointment only
With John Baldessari, Cosima von Bonin, Tobias Buche, Marta Dyachenko, Hanne Darboven, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Almut Heise, Ulrike Heise, Anna Herms, Wilhelm Klotzek, Joseph Kosuth, Marja Marlene Lechner, Ulrich Mack, Michel Majerus, Henrik Olesen, Manfred Pernice, Kirsten Pieroth, Sigmar Polke, Roman Signer, Andreas Slominksi, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rosemarie Trockel and Ralf Weissleder
1 Collection in 5 Rooms
Art collections are meeting points. Places where artworks and collectors, viewers and producers gather in one way or another. Collections can hold on to something, preserve it, forget it or make it visible. And so, through every collection spins a very own history of what has been collected.
Since the mid-1980s, a wide variety of artworks have gradually found their place in the private collection of Helga Maria and Walter Klosterfelde in Hamburg. Mixed in with local positions are works by international artists. The invitation to Wilhelm Klotzek to subject the Klosterfelde Collection to his own perspective is accompanied by an independent selection as well as shifts and additions, thus creating a new history. In “Home Tripp’n”, Klotzek addresses precisely the aspect of the collection as a meeting place within private spaces. In doing so, each space opens up its own relationships between audience, artwork, producer and collector and, accordingly, its own perspective. In doing so, Klotzek always places his own work and the work of fellow artists in relation to the selection presented. It is a selection that corresponds to the formal, architectural, and narrative interest of the artist, starts a dialog, while enabling new angles to approach his practice.
Room 1: Hallway
Every spatial boundary contains places of transit. The threshold, the foyer, the staircase, or the hallway already point to an outside, even though the inside has already been reached. While reflecting on scenic settings, the entrance area of the Klosterfelde Collection serves Klotzek to reinforces the moment, that allows the public to seep into the private. Marta Dyachenko’s modular floor sculptures “schiffbar machung n1-2” (Making navigably n1-2) (2022), for example, point out that for Hamburg, as a port city, waterways, transportation, and logistics represent the core of the Hanseatic tradition. Reminding of the dim alleys around the harbor or public squares in the direction of Altona, there are display cases with posters on the walls announcing the exhibition itself, as well as other events. The exhibition poster designed by Klotzek is based on the design of the cigar box of the brand “Phillies Blunt”. A brand with cult status, immortalized in the painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper and namesake of the “blunt” – a cigar filled with marijuana – which experienced its heyday in the genre of American rap music of the 1990s. If this makes you feel a little queasy, Kirsten Pieroth’s work “Leiter” (Ladder) (2002) seems to provide a quick escape.
Room 2: Kitchen
If there is a place of learning in private spaces, it’s probably the kitchen. Here the inexperienced observe, fail, come up with new ideas, or mix substances until cooking eventually turns from learning to sharing. This also applies to some works : Michel Majerus, for example, studied with Joseph Kosuth, and one story says, that the throwing of balls in John Baldessari’s work “Throwing three balls in the air to get a straight line (best of thirty-six attempts)” (1973) was the idea of his students, which included Matt Mullican. Klotzek, on the other hand, describes his first encounter with the works of Manfred Pernice in his book “Trefferia” as memorable. That Pernice’s work influenced Klotzek’s artistic practice cannot be overlooked. However, instead of following a temporal comparison, the works of the two artists, along with Marta Dyachenko’s floor sculptures, which slip into the “kitchen”, yet quietly begin a conversation, explain content related to architecture, figurative representations and perspectives.
Room 3: Living Room
Leaving the kitchen, we move into the living room. Klotzek’s painted metal sculpture “Liegende” (Reclining Figure) (2022) in the center of the room is his updated response to the classical motif of sculpture. The laissez-faire lounging atmosphere of the bourgeois living room is underscored by Almut Heise’s etchings (1970/1974). Yet the peaceful interiors seem motionless, formal, almost austere, and frozen in time. Like Klotzek’s “Liegende, which refers to Wieland Förster’s counterpart to Henry Moore’s “Große Liegende” in former West Berlin, the era of the 1950s and 1960s speaks also from Heise’s works. And while Heise’s etchings and Klotzek’s metal sculpture descend to the creepy depths of German coziness in bourgeois living rooms, Dan Graham’s series “Homes for America” (1966-74) observes the cast shadows and reflections of surfaces that echo the ambience of 1960s petit-bourgeois America. It was the very shallow promise of peace, comfort, and security, that characterized the Cold War years and yet could not be trusted.
Room 4: Dining Room
A collections ability and necessity to engage in debates and its ongoing connection to the present is the focus of the following room. Like a dining room where people debate, listen, argue and laugh, the selection is dedicated to the gathering of Klotzek’s artist’s colleagues. The central work here is “Eine fragwürdige Zuflucht” (A Questionable Refuge) (2021)by Anna Herms. The motif stems from the 1953 Walt Disney production “The Desert Lives” and goes back to photographs of a lynx taking refuge on a cactus. Here, the humanization of animals, as in Cosima von Bonin’s work “Untitled (Horse) (1991/1993),” follows pop-cultural visual habits. But the question arises as to why a lynx would choose such a painful place of safety. And will he be able to leave it without injury? Especially for this reason, the lynx, which presumably intended to escape the drawn photo cameras, seems to become an iconic image of itself.
Room 5: Closet
Less than the silence of a bedroom, the works in the last room of the exhibition point to the clandestine, that gradually accumulates in the chambers and storerooms. Indicative of this is Andreas Slominski’s “Falle für Stinktiere” (Trap for skunks) (1999). However, even the seemingly banal comes to light, flashing through the crack in the door. In their works, Wilhelm Klotzek and Ulrike Heise each create a different portrait of the moth, from spectacular categorization to the affecting moment of death. Sigmar Polke’s work “Untitled” (1989), in turn, seems to have made a silent agreement with “Marlender Frosch” (Marlender Frog) (2019/2022) by Marja Marlene Lechner. They both dissect the painting into layered planes. But while Polke’s grids and blobs can be interpreted more as traces, Lechner’s mirror grid challenges the dimensions of imaging. From mirror, to drawing, to a frog looking at itself, the work expands into the three-dimensional space, viewing the visitors themselves as moving sculptures in space.
Text by Wilhelm Klotzek & Elisa Maria Schmitt
Photos by Volker Renner