Review by Klaus U. Reinke: Hans Richter is bekoning over.
"Spatial Definitions" by Dietmar Kirves in Düsseldorf
in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, München, 16./17.8.1969
At first, people in the Gunar Gallery in Düsseldorf stood in front of five small wire cubes that rotated on the walls at different speeds on one of their tips. White ones against a black background and vice versa, and each differently distorted in perspective. At each degree of rotation they took on a different shape. There were also two sketches of plans, mathematically accurate as if from the office of a technical draftsman. One hour of the three-hour action by the debutant Dietmar Kirves was set aside for this. Everything had rushed with wild vehemence on this first cultural attraction after so much summer vacation absence. And this is exactly what the mentors of this enterprise had probably speculated on when they staged a kind of prelude to the start of the season right across Düsseldorf's old town.
Three people well known in the international art business - Reckermann from Cologne, Gunar and Fischer from Düsseldorf and the art-ambitious rock-beat-restauration "Creamcheese" - had taken it upon themselves to featur a newcomer with a single joint feat of strength right up to the top floor of progressive art: Dietmar Kirves. Kirves has been in Düsseldorf for a year, where he used to do the projections at "Creamcheese". Before that he studied from 1963 to 1968 in Kassel at the Academy of Fine Arts, he was born in 1941 in Fürstenwalde/Spree.
In the Gunar Gallery, however, people had seen everything after 20 minutes at the latest, and they went next door, to Daniel Spoerri's beer-art-and-eat pub. Thus the name "action" for the three-hour-three-step project had already found its justification. In the gallery they had stood in front of the objects, now they had changed the pub on their own initiative across the street, thus bringing a different environment and new surroundings into the art process. Later, in Konrad Fischer's gallery, the process continued. Kirves had marked all the corners with black tape and stretched a black rope diagonally through them. "Demonstration of a diagonal in the given space." Previously, the participants had viewed the Kirves objects from the outside; now they were immersed in them, becoming part of them.
And on again, across the street and right next door into the "Creamcheese", for the screening of "way/time films". Four, five projections at the same time: highway marker lines whizzing by, spirals constantly renewing themselves from their core, alternating, vertical and horizontal light bars. Hans Richter's abstract films from the twenties beckoned. In addition, the monotonous female voice of the Fräulein vom Amt with the time announcement. Then came a few interjections from the fecal vocabulary.
Kirves was right. By the different constellation of the participants to his objects and by the combination of "artificial" and "natural" rearrangements he forced them to flexibility and made thereby above all apparently usual conscious and at the same time on the existence of exactly the flexibility attentive. For there is no question - flexibility is one of the essential prerequisites for tomorrow's existence. But Kirves limited himself in this first great action to the dialectical correctness of his mental substructure. Hence the brittleness, the lack of charm. Pleasure as an essential driving force has been introduced long enough that it could have been omitted so easily. And to an even greater extent, the mobilization of the creativity of each participant. Activation of the consciousness is undoubtedly of importance not to be underestimated, but it is no more than interpretation. The fact that new shores cannot be won with this alone is not a progressive insight, but already one that dates back to the previous century.