Fig.: Kota Ezawa, LYAM, 2008, video still, © Kota Ezawa/ Courtesy: Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt
The 1961 film "L’Année dernière à Marienbad" (Last Year in Marienbad) directed by Alain Resnais wrote history: More radically than any previous film, Resnais’ cinematic adaptation of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s avant-garde nouveau roman broke with traditional structures of time, place and causality. This ultramodern pioneering work plays with an artistic language in which the style itself becomes the content alongside geometrical forms, architectural lines and repetitive basic compositional principles. Internationally acclaimed, the Marienbad film not only influeced directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Peter Greenaway, David Lynch and Lars von Trier, but also defined an understanding of art that has affected all artistic areas and one that remains relevent to the present day.
The exhibition "Last Year in Marienbad: A Film as Art", conceived by the Kunsthalle Bremen, demonstrates for the first time how influential the Nouvelle Vague aesthetic that distinguishes the Marienbad film has been on the visual arts and will provide visitors with an understanding of its lasting international relevance. To illustrate this, the Kunsthalle Bremen will bring together exceptional international exhibits in video, animation, and installation art as well as paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and architecture which will be supplemented by examples from pop culture and fashion from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day.
Thomas Hirschhorn, Nachwirkung, 2015, Installation view Kunsthalle Bremen
Courtesy: Thomas Hirschhorn / Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen, Photo: Tobias Hübel
The internationally acclaimed conceptual artist Thomas Hirschhorn (*1957 in Bern) installed an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bremen in September 2015. In his works, Hirschhorn transforms conventional exhibition spaces into all-encompassing, extensive installations through the specific use of inferior, everyday materials such as plywood, cardboard, duct tape, plastic wrap and foil. A host of images and articles from newspapers and magazines as well as philosophical essays by such writers as Ingeborg Bachmann, Georges Bataille, Gilles Deleuze, Spinoza and Robert Walser reveal his numerous references.
Hirschhorn, who lives in Paris, sees art as a political-social obligation, and uses his works to show aspects of justice and injustice, power and powerlessness, and moral responsibility. Thomas Hirschhorn received the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2000 and the Joseph Beuys Prize in 2004. Most recently he has constructed much-discussed installations at the Schinkel Pavilion in Berlin and at Manifesta 10 in Saint Petersburg (both in 2014). In 2011 he represented Switzerland at the 54th Venice Biennale and he showed his “Bataille Monument” at the Documenta11 in Kassel in 2002.
An exhibition by the Supporters’ Circle for Contemporary Art in the Kunstverein Bremen
With generous support from:
Schweizer Kulturstiftung prohelvetia
Walter A. Bechtler-Stiftung, Schweiz
Olafur Eliasson, Pedestrian vibes study, 2004, photogravure, detail, Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen, Department of Prints and Drawings
During the UNESCO initiated "Year of Light" in 2015, the Collection of Prints and Drawings is taking a trip through the history of light under the title Theatre of Light: From Rembrandt to Turrell. The Bremen collection holds striking examples of works that create artful and dramatic displays of light from the white of the paper. Whether using moonlight, candlelight, fire or electric spotlights, the sensuous, spectacular or contemplative quality of light punctuates the treatment of the images. Moreover, artists frequently use light to give their motifs transcendental aspects. They further employ light itself as an active agent in the creation of images by drawing with electric light or by capturing shadows and light reflections on photographic paper. Finally, the restrained twilight of the installation Above – Between – Below that James Turrell created specifically for the extension of the Kunsthalle Bremen reveals the atmospheric power of light.
The exhibition presents works by Hendrick Goltzius, Rembrandt van Rijn, Karl Blechen, Honoré Daumier, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Odilon Redon, Paul Renouard, Otto Piene, Markus Raetz, James Turrell and Ugo Rondinone.
Sarah Morris, Jardim Botânico [Rio], 2013 (Detail), 59,81 m x 4,07 m
© Sarah Morris
The American artist and filmmaker Sarah Morris (* 1967) has created a monumental, panoramic mural for the central entrance hall of the Kunsthalle Bremen. Jardim Botânico [Rio] (“Botanical Garden”) is related to the artist’s new series of works entitled Rio but also reacts to the architecture of the museum. The spectacular installation combines luminous colours and abstract grid structures with rectangular and curved forms to form a spectacular environment. The numerous layers of brilliant pigments and
household enamels give rise to visual rhythms as well as to tactile, almost relief-like structures.
Morris works in the tradition of geometrical painting of modernism as well as of the 1960s with marked references to the oeuvre of Piet Mondrian, the American color field painters, Op Art and Victor Vasarely. She continues this tradition creatively into the future and instils new life into a reduced formal language through her dynamic, intensively colourful compositions. But with the shiny colours of her striking paintings and murals the artist also reflects critically on the illusionary world of Hollywood film and the surface aesthetics of glossy magazines, fashion and advertising.
The exhibition has been realised with the generous support of the Supporters’ Circle for Contemporary Art in the Kunstverein Bremen and the Bremer Landesbank.