Wolf Kahlen

VideoTapes 1969 – 2010

5. June – 22. August 2010

From 5/6 to 1/8/2010 the Museum Folkwang is showing two exhibitions on contemporary video art. These are the first presentations in the exhibition rooms in the basement of the listed old building, renovated thanks to the support of the Folkwang Museumsverein and the Wolff-Gruppe.

Wolf Kahlen is among the pioneers of video art. With this exhibition, which has stops in Berlin, Essen, Karlsruhe and Wroclaw, the work of the artist born in Aachen in 1940 will be presented comprehensively for the first time. Already in 1969 Kahlen made his first television sculpture; his conceptual early work from the 70s dealt with an interdisciplinary understanding of media. In many works Kahlen works directly on the television and creates “tapeless”, often physically fragile sculptures. In the 80s Kahlen travelled to the Himalayas and East Asia a number of times, where he made numerous documentary films, especially in Tibet and Mongolia. Today, these are highly valuable not only as art but also from an ethnological point of view. In 1985 the media sculptor founded the Ruine der Künste in Berlin and in 2005 he founded his own museum – Wolf Kahlen Museum – Intermedia Arts Museum in Bernau near Berlin.

The retrospective of the video artist, who lives in Berlin, is conceived as a two-part “one room exhibition”, in which his entire work can be loaded as “video on demand”. In one room the visitor can view the work via large format projections; additionally he can define his own viewing conditions via a computer. Apart from the video films, three important video sculptures by the Berlin artist are on show which form the link to the Captured while Vanishing exhibition running at the same time. The work S.C.H.A.F.E. for six monitors from 1975 was digitalized and restored as part of the Record > Again. 40jahrevideokunst.de – Teil 2 exhibition. It was last shown publically in 1976. The video sculpture Platon’s Höhle from 1999 consists of four monitors from different decades which have been intertwined. Unidentifiable, moving shadows race across the screen and throw a semicircular arch of light. Chörten Digital is a video sculpture on the Buddhist ritual of encircling Tibetan temples.

With the exhibition, an extensive publication Wolf Kahlen. VideoTapes 1969-2010 is available, published by Wolf Kahlen with contributions from numerous authors, 487 pages, Edition Ruine der Künste Berlin, 49 Euro in the Museum Folkwang, Walther König bookstore.

A short guide to both exhibitions with texts by the curator Sabine Maria Schmidt is available at the cash desk in the foyer of the Museum Folkwang for 2 Euro.