WAYS OF SEEING: Film Installations and Collaborations

Joseph BEUYS / John BERGER / Stuart BRISLEY / Walter DAHN / Tadeusz KANTOR / Natalia LL / Gustav METZGER / Ken MCMULLEN / Martha PARSEY / Ewa PARTUM / Johannes STÜTTGEN / Boscher THEODOR

Joseph Beuys is considered one of the most important and influential German artists of the 20th Century. To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of his birth in 2021 this exhibition presents film installations and collaborations that emanate from Beuys’ teachings and oeuvre.

Deutsch: WAYS OF SEEING: Film Installations and Collaborations präsentiert Filme, Installationen und Kollaborationen die von der Lehre und dem Oeuvre von Beuys ausgehen. Joseph Beuys gehört zu den weltweit bedeutendsten Künstlern des 20. Jahrhunderts und sein 100. Geburtstag im Jahr 2021 bietet Anlass, den im Rheinland geborenen und arbeitenden Künstler, sein komplexes Wirken und seine internationale Ausstrahlung, neu zu entdecken und kritisch zu befragen. Die Ausstellung bietet eine Plattform die Bedeutung von Beuys für die gegenwärtige internationale Kunst zu ergründen und einen Diskurs über die brennenden Fragen unserer Zeit anzuregen: wie Demokratie und Freiheit zu verstehen sind.

PART 1: BEUYS / METZGER / MCMULLEN

Joseph Beuys in ‘Crowd Sculpture’

Between 1971 and 1972, Ken McMullen filmed three live performances as a collaboration with Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf. ‘Crowd Sculpture’‘Word Work’ and ‘Discussions with a Gun’. First screened at the Tate Gallery, London in 1972.

‘Die Ästhetik ist eine Begleiterscheinung jeder menschlichen Tätigkeit…’

‘Aesthetics are an inevitable accompaniment of every human activity.’

Joseph Beuys

Gustav Metzger in ‘Manifesto 1959’

Gustav Metzger witnessed the rise of Nazism as a small child in Nuremberg and escaped to Great Britain aged thirteen. He trained as an artist before founding auto-destructive art in 1959. The scale of Gustav Metzger’s achievements and his contribution to contemporary culture are clearly demonstrated in Ken McMullen’s film ‘Pioneers in Art and Science’ (2005), as well as highlighting the importance of understanding the destructive impulses in human society.

‘Auto destructive art is primarily a form of public art for industrial societies.’

Gustav Metzger

Gustav Metzger in ‘The Nazi Shadow’

Gustav Metzger on Nazi design and architecture, a subject that preoccupied him and had a lasting effect on his work, in a short extract from the film ‘Pioneers in Art and Science’, 2005.

‘I’m still very interested in Nazi German and Italian fascist design and architecture. 

It’s an ongoing interest, it will never leave me and I think it shouldn’t.’

Gustav Metzger

Gustav Metzger on ‘Riefenstahl’

Gustav Metzger on the films of Leni Riefenstahl, films he saw as a child growing up in Nuremberg and that had a lasting and profound effect on his work as an artist.

‘It simply is a masterpiece…the films made a very deep impression on me. They again deal with destruction. I lived in Nuremberg and saw tens of thousands of SA men marching to the Reichsparteitagsgelände’

Gustav Metzger

PART 2: BRISLEY / KANTOR / PARTUM / NATALIA LL

Stuart Brisley in ‘Between’

The British artist Stuart Brisley’s attempts to antagonise the art world took shape in a fruitful meeting of minds with Beuys at the ICA in 1974 at the symposium ‘Art into Society into Art’.

In ‘Being and Doing’ (1984) Ken McMullen and Stuart Brisley collaborate to search out the origins of performance art, connecting it not to modernism but to ancient folk rituals in England and Europe. They testify to powerful behavioural traditions which have survived the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society.

‘Dissension will not take place. There will be no dissension. There will be no disasters. There are no arguments. We are being accounted for.’

Stuart Brisley

Stuart Brisley in ‘Ghost Dance’

A short extract from the film ‘Ghost Dance’ (1983) with Pascale Ogier, Leonie Mellinger, Jacques Derrida, Dominique Pinon, Robbie Coltrane and Stuart Brisley.

Tadeusz Kantor in ‘Lovelies and Dowdies’

‘Lovelies and Dowdies’, shot in Edinburgh in collaboration with Tadeusz Kantor in 1973, is a filmed version of Tadeusz Kantor’s production of the eponymous play by Witkiewicz, ‘Dainty Shapes and Hairy Apes‘ with the CRICOT2 Theatre Company that offers a rare glimpse into Kantor’s groundbreaking work in theatre. This is the performance at which Kantor and Beuys met for the only time.

Ewa Partum in ‘Self identification’

Partum’s public work began in 1969 and continued through the seventies and her films act both as documentation of her performative work and as explorations of film as a medium in line with the feminist avant-garde and structural cinema of the 1960s.

‘In all the situations that I perform naked I want to demonstrate my complete alienation and the fact that I am rejecting the site of male-dominated orderliness.’

Ewa Partum

Natalia LL in ‘Meditation’

Natalia LL, associated with the feminist avant-garde scene of the 1960s in Poland, deconstructs single-frame photographs and satirizes images presented in advertising, television and print in the 1970s and 1980s. This is a short extract from Ken McMullen and Stuart Brisley’s film ‘Being and Doing’.

‘Young polish artists are very sensitive to the changes occurring in the Capitalist world, of which they are well informed. This situation provokes a dilemma between their connection to socialist ethics and everything that that means to them…’ 

Natalia LL

PART 3: DAHN / STÜTTGEN / THEODOR

Imi Knoebel in ‘Reichsstrasse 51’

A break-in at the studio of Imi Knoebel in an extract from ‘Reichsstrasse 51’ (1991) from Walter Dahn, Johannes Stüttgen and Boscher Theodor. Imi Knoebel, Walter Dahn and Johannes Stüttgen were all students of Beuys at the academy in Düsseldorf.

Rudolf Steiner in ‘Die schwimmende Tasse’

Two cups battle it out to Rudolf Steiner’s ‘Die Rätsel der Philosophie’ in ‘Die schwimmende Tasse’ from Walter Dahn, Johannes Stüttgen and Boscher Theodor. First shown as part of the exhibition ‘Das 21. Jahrhundert’ at the Kunsthalle, Basel

‘So ist es mit allen Dingen; während wir auf das scheinbar Beharrende hinblicken, ist es im allgemeinen Strome des Daseins schon ein anderes geworden.’

‘While we look at what is apparently unchanging, it has already turned into something else in the general stream of existence’

Rudolf Steiner

PART 4: MCMULLEN / BERGER / PARSEY

John Berger in ‘Meditation on Time’

Shot in CERN, the nuclear physics facility in Geneva, Ken McMullen brought John Berger, author of ‘Ways of Seeing’, to encounter the new physics and technologies to be found there. John Berger arrived with the poem ‘Happiness’ by Jorge Luis Borges and the following encounters found form in ‘Art, Poetry and Particle Physics’.

‘Everything happens for the first time but in a way that is eternal. Whoever reads my words is inventing them.’

Jorge Luis Borges

Martha Parsey in ‘Lumin de Lumine’

Shot on location in Particle Accelerator Number One in CERN, this collaboration between Ken McMullen and Martha Parsey turned the Torness Nulcear Power Station into the largest public art installation in Europe. First shown as part of the exhibition ‘Signatures of the Invisible’ at MOMA P.S.1 New York.

Sein oder Nichtsein, das ist hier die Frage…

To be, or not to be, that is the question…’Hamlet

Shakespeare

Films appear by kind permission of the artists. Exhibition curated by Martha Parsey.

PRIVATE SCREENINGS I PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS

ART MEETS CINEMA

BACON

Francis Bacon in ‘Model and Artist; Henrietta Moraes and Francis Bacon’. 1993. (c) Martha Parsey

Meeting Francis Bacon in London in the sixties, Henrietta Moraes became the most painted of his female subjects. In interview in the Marlborough Gallery London, Henrietta recalls her impressions of the artist, which intercut with archive film footage of Bacon in interview, forms a final dialogue between model and artist. Screened at the Bacon Retrospective exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou Paris, Haus der Kunst Munich, and ‚Bacon’s Women’ at Ordovas Gallery New York.

Francis Bacon and David Sylvester in ‘Francis Bacon in Paris’ 1996. Martha Parsey

Shot at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, during the Francis Bacon retrospective, the film accompanies curator, critic and close friend David Sylvester, as he hangs the exhibition. Previously unpublished interviews between Bacon and Sylvester commentate the erection of this exhibition and form a final dialogue between artist and critic; a monument to Bacon’s supremacy as a painter. Screened at the Coutauld Institute, London.

MANET

One cinematic shot depicts Manet’s ‚Execution of Maximilian’. In a single shot ‘1867’ passes through the 18 months of historical and artistic events that led to Manet’s four versions of the execution. Commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of New York, The John Paul Getty Foundation and Channel 4.

REMBRANDT

Cast: Dominic Pinon, John Shrapnel, Maria de Madeiros. This film explores the profound effect his father’s blindness had on Rembrandt and the way this influenced his work. Commissioned by BBC Television and Broadcast in 1992.

JARMAN

Shot in Jarman’s studio in Dungeness, UK and screened at the Berlin Film Festival, in this revealing documentary, Ken McMullen creates an elegant portrait of artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman, based on an interview conducted by John Cartwright. The questions are unobtrusive, allowing Jarman to reflect on his major films. Despite the debilitating effects of serious illness, we see an artist with his inner vision unimpaired; humourous, self effacing and disarmingly charming.

AUTO DESTRUCT

METZGER

Gustav Metzger witnessed the rise of Nazism as a small child in Nuremberg and escaped to Great Britain aged thirteen. He trained as an artist before founding auto-destructive art in 1959. The scale of Gustav Metzger’s achievements and his contribution to contemporary culture are clearly demonstrated in Ken McMullen’s comprehensive film where Gustav Metzger speaks candidly and brilliantly of the influences which have shaped his own work, highlighting the importance of understanding the destructive impulses in human society.

BEUYS

Joseph Beuys in ‘Actions and Words: excerpts from collaborations with Joseph Beuys’ Ken McMullen 1972. (c) Ken McMullen. All rights reserved.

‚Word Work’‚Discussions with a Gun’ and ‚Crowd Sculpture with Joseph Beuys’ are live performances shot with Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf between 1971 and 1972. First shown at the Tate Gallery, London in 1972 and at the Joseph Beuys Retrospective at Tate Modern.

DERRIDA

A dialogue between Pascale Ogier and Jacques Derrida, in an excerpt from the film ‚Ghost Dance’, explores the connection between cinema and psychoanalysis.

BERGER

John Berger in ‘Art, Poetry and Particle Physics’ Ken McMullen. 2004. (c) Ken McMullen. All rights reserved.

Ken McMullen brought John Berger, author of Ways of Seeing, to CERN to encounter the new physics and technologies to be found there. Berger arrived with the poem Happiness by Jorge Luis Borges and the following encounters found form in the film Art, Poetry and Particle Physics, screened at Tshingh University Beijing, Complesso del Vittoriano Rome, Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva, Gulbenkian Gallery Lisbon, and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Centre NY.

KNOEBEL AND STEINER

A break-in at Imi Knoebel’s studio and two cups battle it out to Rudolf Steiner’s ‘Die Rätsel der Philosophie’ in collaborations between Walter Dahn, Johannes Stüttgen and Boscher Theodor.

ART, POETRY AND PARTICLE PHYSICS

‘Lumen de Lumine’ a collaboration between Ken McMullen and Martha Parsey. (c) Ken McMullen. All rights reserved.

Shot on location in Particle Accelerator Number One, CERN, Geneva, ‘Lumen de Lumine’ is a meditation on solitude. A motion picture playing with quantum theory and the nature of light and near-miss particle collisions, this film turned the Torness nuclear power station into the largest ever public art installation in Europe. A collaboration between Ken McMullen and Martha Parsey, screened during the exhibition ‚Signatures of the Invisible’ at Atlantis Gallery, London, Tshingh University Beijing, Complesso del Vittoriano Rome, Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva, Gulbenkian Gallery Lisbon, and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Centre NY.


This exhibition of films on art and art cinema brings together the work of leading artists and thinkers in Europe, from Manet to Bacon, from Beuys to Metzger, Derrida and Berger with short films and installations by Ken McMullen, Martha Parsey, Walter Dahn, Boscher Theodor and Johannes Stüttgen that explore the relationship between film, art theory, philosophy and painting.

The exhibition runs from October 3rd- November 21st by appointment following current government guidelines.

Please contact the Space by e mail info@mphqprojectspace.com for more information. Press release with further information about the films:

Films appear by kind permission of Ken McMullen.

FILM ON ART I ART ON FILM

SCREENING 2: FILM ON ART I ART ON FILM

FRANCIS BACON I DEREK JARMAN
ÉDOUARD MANET I REMBRANDT

Saturday 14th March at 6pm
MPHQ Project Space London I Cologne

In the second screening of films on art and art cinema, this exhibition brings together the work of leading artists and thinkers in Europe, from Manet to Bacon, from Beuys to Metzge, Derrida and Berger with short films and installations by Ken McMullen, Martha Parsey, Walter Dahn, Boscher Theodor and Johannes Stüttgen that explore the relationship between film, art theory, philosophy and painting.

FILM ON ART I ART ON FILM

MPHQ Project Space London I Cologne presents:

Opening Saturday 15 th February from 6 pm
with Ken McMullen, Martha Parsey, Walter Dahn, Boscher Theodor
with a few words from Friedhelm Mennekes
MPHQ Project Space London I Cologne

In a new series of screenings of films on art and art cinema, this exhibition brings together the work of leading artists and thinkers in Europe, from Manet to Bacon, from Beuys to Metzger, Derrida and Berger with short films and installations by Ken McMullen, Martha Parsey, Walter Dahn, Boscher Theodor and Johannes Stüttgen that explore the relationship between film, art theory, philosophy and painting.

GIANT STEPS

LONDON MEETS COLOGNE


Martha Parsey I René Kemp
Cedric Christie I Boscher Theodor
Andy Earl I Oliver Abraham


Opening Sunday 7th April 2019. Exhibition runs till 3rd May.

PRESS RELEASE:

GIANT STEPS brings together six artists from London and Cologne: a painter, a sculptor and a photographer respectively, that deal with the cross-over of media and the tension between figurative representation and formalistic abstract theory.


The title ‘Giant Steps’ derives from the jazz album released by John Coltrane in 1960 which was groundbreaking in changing perceptions of composition and improvisation.


This exhibition shows the vibrance of expression when these two meet. Seen through the juxtaposition, dissonance and harmony when figuration and abstraction interact, not only within the individual work of each artist but in the accumulative and exponential sum of the total of this exhibition’s collective parts.

Each of these artists draws on and directly refers to their artistic history, be it Theodor’s direct references to Bonnard, Warhol and Kirchner, Earl’s to Manet, Parsey’s to Malevich and Hockney, Abraham’s to Avedon and Penn and Christie’s to Ruscha and Gilbert and George. This is fertile ground for creative invention on which all six of these artists flourish.

http://kunstaspekte.art/event/giant-steps

https://www.flowersgallery.com/exhibitions/view/giant-steps-featuring-cedric-christie

We Could be Heroes

SUMMER SALON I We Could be Heroes

Painting I Print I Photography I Sculpture
Light I Objects I Video

MPHQ presents: Dillwyn Smith, August Sander, Francesco Clemente, Cedric Christie, Lord Snowdon, Boris Becker, Regine Schumann, Pascal Rousson, Gerhard Richter, Reinhart Wolf, Gereon Krebber, Chargesheimer, Paula Baader, Rene Burri, Krzysztof Honowski, Martha Parsey, Oliver Abraham, Stacie McCormick, Simon Liddiment, Roxana Halls, Tina Schwarz.

Opening Friday 13 th July 2018 6-9pm. Exhibition runs till 4th August.