Jürgen Klauke, aus: Schlachtfelder, 2009/2010
Fotoprints, 12 Tableaus, je 150 x 280 cm, gesamt 3 x 16,32 m, © Jürgen Klauke/VBK, Wien, 2010
Jürgen Klauke, aus: Ästhetische Paranoia, 2004/2006, Fotoprint, 180 x 240 cm, © Jürgen Klauke/VBK, Wien, 2010

Jürgen Klauke

Aestetic Paranoia

Jürgen Klauke is one of the foremost performance, photo and media artists and a trailblazer of performance art in Germany.

Jürgen Klauke is a pioneer of Body Art; his critical exploration of socialized gender norms and behavioural patterns has been groundbreaking. He achieved fame in the 1970s, when he used his own body as central expressive medium for his staged works, studying basic sexual behavioural patterns pre-shaped by culture and society.

Beyond the theme of sexuality and society, human existence and its omnipresent abysses have remained the focal point of his work until today. By using everyday materials for staging his images, Jürgen Klauke achieves a concentrated view of the absurdity of life. Jürgen Klauke is not a photographer, but an artist, who uses photography as an instrument
for questioning himself and the world.

In his latest work phase he reflects on the fundamental conditions of paranoid existence in different scenes ranging from minimalistically strict to excessive, sometimes even surreal. The exhibition at the MdM MÖNCHSBERG, created in cooperation with the ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst in Karlsruhe, presents a selection of approx. 60 recent works by the artist, including two series of large-format black and white photographs titled “Ästhetische Paranoia” (“Aesthetic Paranoia”) and “Wackelkontakt” (“Loose
Connection”). These performatively staged photos show the artist as representative of the “ego tossed into the world” which is found in zones of the inexpressible and inexplicable, inviting the beholder to step into these rooms of foreboding. In his fascinating photographs, the artist organizes and stages pictorial spaces in which he is absorbed, dissolved, or repeated by space. The series “Schlachtfelder” (“Battlefields”) - a 16-meter-long tableau
comprising 144 color photos - has been specially conceived for the exhibition and is presented for the first time. In the immediate and provocative aesthetics of a contemporary memento mori, “Battlefields“ depicts the disputed beauty of the horrors taking place in the hidden realms of the slaughterhouse. In this way the photographs reflect on a scope of themes ranging from existential finiteness to the atrocities that occur on a daily basis, and at the same time refer beyond the level of reality depicted.
Complementing this, Klauke also installs two linguistic spaces and an environment with seven plasma screens, revealing another impressive aspect of the media artist’s extensive oeuvre.

Hatje Cantz Verlag is publishing a catalogue for the exhibition (edited by Toni Stooss and Peter Weibel) with contributions by Andreas Beitin, Régis Durand, Ursula Frohne, Thomas Macho, Peter Sloterdijk and an interview with the artist by Heinz-Norbert Jocks (German/English; 252 pages, 39.80 Euros)


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