The internet kissed awake conceptually
Step into the net.
Take part in the dying and rebirthing of an impermanent piece of art. Experience your very personal active (kind of
karmic) part in the dissolution of one and in the configuration of another image. Print the three pages of a process, which only you can see, unless you want them pass by unnoticed by others. The prints shall be numbered and
signed simultaneously, as you print them. They are free of charge given away by the artist as his 60th anniversary present (Edition Ruine der Kuenste Berlin). You are then collector in part of the worldwide virtual Public
Collection. Any unprinted piece is lost in space and time.
Only the remaining ones, summed up, are able to reshape the entity of the four dimensional piece. The piece is called Selbst-los / Self-less and starts on Thursday,
January 6th, 2000 at 24 hours Berlin Time
At 23 hours at London (GMT), at 18 hours at New York, on January 7th at 4.30 a.m. hours at Delhi, at 7 a. m. at Peking, at 8.a.m at Tokyo, at 9.a.m. at Sidney Time. The piece is actually eternal, as long as the servers serve it.
We keep running it at least until January 7, 2003
At the same time a three year long retrospective exhibition in ten parts opens at the RUINE DER KUENSTE BERLIN
Have a look
Peter P. Kajzar in: artery/Berlin, 1/2000
Ruine der Künste Berlin / Wolf Kahlen
Wolf Kahlen is one of the most versatile and innovative artist of the last forty years. He creates art with every possible means, in almost all the genres, and he does so with breath-taking speed. He resembles an active
basketball player in progress rather than a practically thinking chess player. For the intermedia, or media sculptor - as he refers to himself when called upon to put a name to it - has always worked like a nomad, travelling from place to place. And so often there is not much time, although he might prefer to visit all the countries on the Himalayas repeatedly and for longer periods, working for the King of Bhutan (1965), or exhibiting and teaching
in museums in eastern Asia.
A single nomad far away from groups. styles or trends, he is physically and spiritually close to places and people who live in contexts other than the western, seeking these out with complete empathy, attempting to understand
though a sensual state of being there, of having arrived.
His aim is to then be able to work in context, to take out and to give back, if both are possible. His works are scattered all over the world, therefore, and each collector knows a different Wolf Kahlen.
He is not only a video pioneer (video sculpture: Young Cliffs 1969), the initiator of conceptual photographs (Photo Light Card) and photo performances (Breathing in and out with Edvard Munch: sludge developed, unfixed photos since 1972), but also a painter (until 1965), sculptor, producer of printed graphic works, films, sound sculptures, books and texts, and an architect. And not least, he has made his name as an expert on Tibet, filming in a doubly sensitive way in Tibet, Mongolia and China (since 1986), leaving an impression wherever he goes. Some artists have successfully
fished his torrent of ideas, taken the time to adopt, and in some cases develop further, his sensitive perceptions - something he himself has never been able to do, since in every sense he had already moved on. It is the comparative haste which means theat each of this different works is only
known in Aachen or New York, in Taipeh or in Zurich, because he has usually exhibited them only once. But they are always media immanent, related to place, well-focussed works full of energy: concepts translated into material and therefore ultimately sensual answers to his dual question.
"Nicht wahr?" (True, isn´t it?) is the title of the year long retrospective in six parts taking place in the Ruine der Künste, Berlin, beginning on the artists sixtieth birthday, 7th January 2000: "loud and quiet images", "images of no/one exhibition" "nothing but dust", "pure hance", "ephemeral pieces", "alignments", "light definitions". In search of the reality of the thousand realities - true, isn´t it?
Of course the exhibition begins with an innovation - his online work:
Selbstlos/Self less. Because of global distribution, this is a work which partly dies with each person who seeks to possess it, an image which disintegrates pixel for pixel, modified for each "collector", arriving in a more and more dissolved state until completely extinct. And which comes
alive again on another page, in a second image which reconstructs itself dot by dot.
Collectors who prefer to have something in hand, despite the ephemeral character, can print out "their" three part work in three original sheets. A dying image, an empty one with the "lost pixel for which one is responsible". Impossible to experience as an"entire" work, it exists in irtual composition within time and place - in a virtual museum. Another media immanent hit, something we have waited for in the Web for then years.
It touches the nerve of global confusion (every Web client is responsible for the death/life of the work), of e-commerce (the print-outs are numbered and signed gifts), of the ego-trip (Kahlen dissolves himself), of material
attachement (no-one really possesses the piece), of fear of personal and world death (a new image returns when the old one dies).
And again, each collector knows a different Wolf Kahlen. What does the real one actually look like?