20 November 2010

Anselm Kiefer

"There is a special border, the border between art and life that
often shifts deceptively. Yet, without this border, there is no art.
In the process of being produced, art borrows material from life,
and the traces of life still shine through the completed work of art.
But, at the same time, the distance from life is the essence, the
substance of art. And, yet, life has still left its traces. The more
scarred the work of art is by the battles waged on the borders
between art and life, the more interesting it becomes."
~ Anselm Kiefer

Winterwald, 2010 © Anselm Kiefer.

Not long ago I posted here on a series of inscribed photographs that Anselm Kiefer has published as Op-Art in The New York Times. There is an exhibition of his work - "Next Year in Jerusalem" - running through 18 December in NYC. You can find a range of reviews here (respectful and perceptive, if equivocal) and here (petulant and resentful*) and here (scornful, bored). No doubt there will be more.

There also is a newly released film on Kiefer and his work - Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow - that seems intriguing. One perplexity is how an artist whose work is so dominated by the shadow of the holocaust can (as Kiefer apparently does) take Heidegger seriously.
* On the subject of pots and kettles: How someone who makes a living as an art critic for The Wall Street Journal (or anywhere else for that matter) can be self-righteous about the well-documented excesses and pretentiousness of the art world is beyond me. It isn't as if critics - especially those whose assessments appear is prominent venues - are anything other than cogs in the machine.

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Blogger Public Squalor said...

Regarding Heidegger, I once heard Kiefer and his acolytes referred to as "moths drawn to the flame".

- peace

21 November, 2010 09:33  

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