Folkwang Museum, Essen
– 7 January 2018
The exhibition “Pluriversum” at the Folkwang Museum is dedicated to the work of Alexander Kluge on the occasion of his 85th birthday. Alexander Kluge is a well-known filmmaker, writer and media politician and one of the most versatile intellectuals in Germany today.
The exhibition gives an overview of his way of thinking and making connections. Kluge was born in Halberstadt in 1932. From 1963, he taught at Ulm University, among other things, and is known as one of the most important representatives of New German Cinema, whose theory and practice he has shaped and influenced. The exhibition focuses primarily on the cinematic montages that he composes from words and pictures. They turn up in various forms of media such as texts, movies and television films, commentaries and video collages, as well as in different forms and combinations, and deal with the big themes of modernity: the universe, evolution, love, war – all of which are captured in the exhibition title “Pluriversum”. According to the curator Anna Fricke, the initial plan was to hold an exhibition about Alexander Kluge, but it ultimately turned into an exhibition with and by Kluge. The thinker, who came to literature after obtaining a doctorate in law, has led an eventful life. He is seen as something of a seismograph of society and has often worked with other intellectuals and thinkers – something he values highly. In the exhibition, works by other artists are juxtaposed alongside his own. Some of the montages are displayed on the ceiling in order to challenge our senses. Others were created especially for “Pluriversum”, giving visitors an insight into Kluge’s archive of film excerpts.
An important part of the exhibition is the accompanying programme entitled “Im Rausch der Arbeit“ [High on Work]. It consists of lectures and talks about social issues, some more abstract than others, given by German theorists and people in Kluge’s ambit and with whom he works. Among them is Helge Schneider, who, together with Kluge, will, on 9 November 2017, give “an opinion of a war minister in his pyjamas and at a loss”.
What could have been a premature retrospective has turned into a successful composition of still active thinkers and writers. Admission is free and there are guided tours for the public on Sundays. The exhibition is collaboration with 21er Haus (21st house) in Vienna.