“Information from artists and artists’ groups in whose working fields a consciousness-building concept is discernible.” — It was with this short sentence that publisher/artist Dietmar Kirves — also known to many as a German member of the “NO!art” movement — characterized his two publication series “art information” and “media news”. In the exhibition “Dietmar Kirves — art information”, the Research Centre for Artists’ Publications will now be presenting a survey of the editions put out by “mediacontact”, the publishing company founded by Kirves in Düsseldorf in 1970. With the art information and media news series, his aim was to create a platform for making information on contemporary art accessible to a broad public inexpensively, and thus to encourage a creative dialog with the public. In the period from 1970 to 1973, Kirves asked artists belonging to various art movements — generally of an anti-art-establishment nature — to submit momentary takes on their working processes as well as examples of their work. In the “art information” series, editions by Joseph Beuys, Michael Buthe, Terry Fox, Jochen Gerz, Joel Glassman, Anatol Herzfeld, Jean Le Gac and Sarkis Zabunyan appeared between 1971 and 1973. Hansjürgen Bulkowski, Christine Franz, Florian Schneider-Esleben, Timm Schröder, Landfried Schröpfer and Fritz Schwegler contributed to the series “media news” (1970—1971). Whereas “art information” concentrated primarily on the presentation of artists’ and artist groups’ work results and projects, “media news” brought a wide range of socially relevant topics relating to such areas as communication, motivation and psychology up for discussion. In editions of up to two hundred copies, the publications were circulated by mediacontact in Germany, France and America.
In addition to the publications, photos as well as film and audio material will be shown, shedding light on events which took place at the “mediacontact agency” during the years in question.
An exhibition of the Research Centre for Artists’ Publications in cooperation with students of the University Bremen.
Dietmar Kirves - art Information
January 29 - May 2, 2010
The exhibition "Dietmar Kirves - art information" shows an insight into the work of the publishing house mediacontact, which was managed by the artist Dietmar Kirves from 1970 to 1974.
For four years, Dietmar Kirves ran the "mediacontact-agency for art events, creative planning and public relations" in Düsseldorf. During this period, Kirves published the two magazine series "art Information" and "media news", which are presented to the public for the first time in this compilation. Both series served as a publication organ for creative engagement with the public. With the intention of regularly fostering cultural relations with the public through information and promoting creative collaboration between artists and interested parties, the relevance of art information and media research was to be brought to the attention of the general public.
On the one hand, "art information" provides an insight into the work of artists and groups of artists who show consciousness-raising concepts in their field of work. They report about their work, intentions, concepts and events .
On the other hand, "media news" presented information from relevant intermediate areas that interest, concern or shape a group, a community, a community structure or a society. They are works of different authors on communication, motivation, therapy and psychology.
Dietmar Kirves himself says that he wanted to show "art in socially relevant areas, not art for the walls of the bourgeoisie." Likewise, it was his intention to make contemporary art that "stimulates thinking" accessible to the public.
The design of the magazine series was always carried out in cooperation with the artists. In some cases, exhibitions were held parallel to the published issues in his Düsseldorf basement gallery "mediacontact. As a sign of authenticity, all copies were signed by the artists.
Before founding mediacontact, Kirves worked in the advertising industry, organized art exhibitions and traveled throughout Germany to find interesting artists. By founding his own gallery during this time, he built up a network of artist contacts that continues to this day. Famous buyers of his magazines included Heinrich Böll, Ernst Jünger and Karl Lagerfeld.
In the period from 1970 to 1974, mediacontact Verlag published the following eleven editions.
art information No. 1: The Steel Table with Anatol Herzfeld &. Joseph Beuys | Within a performance, three speakers with steel cuffs around their wrists are screwed to a steel table created by Anatol Herzfeld ( 1931, Insterburg). They are only allowed to speak in response to a time-limited signal controlled by Herzfeld. Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) silently observes the action and performs certain gestures. The entire performance was recorded.
Herzfeld has become known for his drawings, etchings, paintings, multiples (board paintings) and sculptures made of a wide variety of materials. He sees the viewer as an integral part of the concept of art. In addition to his police service, Herzfeld held a teaching position at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf.
Beuys is considered worldwide as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His extensive field of activity ranges from Fluxus, action art (socio-political activities, "social sculpture", Free International University), sculpture (objects, installations), drawings (painting), to his theoretical steps. He dealt with the issues of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy.
art information No. 2: Isolation Unit with Terry Fox & Joseph Beuys: | This issue documents a Fluxus happening in the basement of the Düsseldorf Academy for the funeral of a mouse by Joseph Beuys. Meanwhile, the acoustic accompaniment of the ceremony was recorded through steel pipes. Terry Fox (1943-2008) was an action and protest artist of the Fluxus movement, painter and sculptor. He was concerned with the reflection of life and death, bodily experiences, sound and language, and use of everyday, simple materials (e.g., dust, piano strings). His sculptures often existed only for the duration of the action.
art Information No. 3. Friends of Michael Buthe. | The booklet documents portraits of people who left a lasting impression on Buthe. Michael Buthe (1944-1994) was a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, a painter, sculptor, collageur and writer. Culture and spirituality of the Orient were themes of his works.
art Information No. 4: 25 new contributions to the Paris telephone directory by Jochen Gerz in collaboration with other artists | Jochen Gerz (*1940, Berlin) presents in his booklet entries written by others for the Telephone Book of Paris. In doing so, he wants to abolish the purely hermetic and incomprehensible function of the conventional telephone book and illustrates a new principle of cultural consciousness. Gerz is one of the most internationally renowned contemporary German artists. His works range from conceptual art, photography, video and artist's books to sculpture (e.g. the "Hamburg Memorial against Racism") and performance.
art Information No. 5: Some work by Joel Aaron Glassman | Joel Aaron Glassman (*1946, New York) deals in his photographic works with the everyday that surrounds us all. In doing so, he aims to create an awareness that life itself is art and that it belongs to everyone. Glassman, while teaching at the Armory Center for the Arts in Passadena, is a photographer, video artist and writer. His focus is now particularly on large-scale close-ups of nature and videos of surreal still life.
art Information Nr. 6: Message personnels by Jean Le Gac | An old junk car found in the field is repurposed as an information center as Jean Le Gac ("1936, Tamaris) works with children to place many canned telephones across the landscape. Le Gac completes his work as a painter, conceptual artist of mixed media or fictional documentaries and as a photographer.
art Information Nr. 7: Wolfshunde by Sarkis Zabunyan | Sarkis Zabunyan (*1938, Istanbul) painted wolf dogs on the bridge pavement on the "Pont Des Arts". On these he placed tape recorders, on the one hand to play an imitated dog biting and on the other hand to record the scenery at the same time. In this way, he wanted to create uncertainty among passers-by. In addition to his teaching position at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg, Sarkis is a conceptual and installation artist. He focuses mainly on installations with sound integrations and sculptures made of tapes, with themes of time, emotion and memory.
media news Nr. 1: Kraftwerk by Florian Schneider-Esleben |
The booklet contains documentations of the German band "Kraftwerk" (Florian Schneider-Esleben, Eberhard Kranemann, Hou-schäng Nejadepour and Karl Weiss), founded in Düsseldorf in 1970, about new musical elements they developed as pioneers of electronic music.
media news Nr. 2: RE'UN'ANZ by Landfried Schröpfer and Hans-Jürgen Bulkowski | Landfried Schröpfer ( 1940, Erfurt) and Hans-Jürgen Bulkowski ( 1938, Berlin) developed an open system of signs that deals on the one hand with "flow diagrams" and on the other hand with the "thing language", the statement of everyday objects in the form of object installations. Schröpfer is a writer and graduate physicist. Bulkowski writes short prose, poetry, radio plays, text happenings (Fluxus) and text montages. Among other things, he was the editor of the magazine "PRO, Blätter für neue Literatur" and is the director of the Literaturwerkstatt Düsseldorf. At the same time he pursues his teaching assignment "Literature" and "Media Studies" at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf.
media news Nr. 3 : EIAG by Timm Schröder und Christine Franz | In the booklet, the artist group EIAG documents an activation, sensitization and communication program aimed at personal and interpersonal experiences. The center of this event is a completely darkened tactile room as well as actions in public. Timm (Schröder) EIAG (*1945, Hamburg) is known for his installations, events and actions. He confronts and provokes with aesthetic processes in public, e.g. the wrapping of houses.
media news Nr. 4: Effeschiaden by Fritz Schwegler | Fritz Schweglers (* 1935, Breech) Effeschiaden are concepts and drawings of freely invented objects, which he calls "Stücke zum Glücke für Jedermann". These were presented at lectures and accompanied by flute and medieval singing. Schwegler was a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and became known as a painter, draftsman, sculptor, writer and musician. In his works he questions the conceptuality of things through the most precise observations and investigations of the everyday.
Dietmar Kirves - Short biography
Born in Fürstenwalde/Spree in 1941.
1946 Escape to West Germany.
1962-68 Studies at the University of Fine Arts in Kassel (painting, graphics, philosophy, sociology and politics). Various travels.
1964 Audience and press support during documenta III, Kassel.
1969-70 Idea, realization and organization of a permanent art market (art for everyone) in the department store. Multiple market in the Kaufhof am Wehrhahn in Düsseldorf with 132 artists from the contemporary art scene from December 4, 1969 to June 15, 1970 (Plott: "Household goods, furniture, handicraft accessories, fashion goods, jewelry, toys, delicacies, gift articles ... Goods to whet the appetite, to choose from, to furnish and use - don't multiples and prints fit in with this?... If the Kaufhof becomes a meeting place like the shopping street, the arcade, in former times, then something like a communication center can develop, in which neither blindly is sold nor uncritically is bought. Critical faculties, however, which can be developed through art, would be an expression of a society that is becoming more responsible.")
1969-74 Mixed media works with films, sound effects and spatial changes. Work as art director in Düsseldorf advertising agencies. Further travels.
1970 Founded mediacontact-agency in Düsseldorf with the purpose of challenging cultural relations with the public through creative collaboration between artists and those involved, and the goal of intensifying the social relevance of art information and media research.
1974 Leaving the conventional art scene, moving to the wall city of West Berlin and starting a family (2 children).
1978 discovery of the NOlart movement.
1978-88 Proofreader in a scientific publishing house. Further travels. Compilation of the first NO!art anthology.
1982-88 Publication of the booklet series "Changes for All" in the plusminus-presse, Diedenbach. (Texts, photographs and paintings were included in the booklets).
1988-92 Collection of discarded items in Berlin-Mitte and surroundings during the fall of the GDR.
1994 NO!show initiation at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) in Berlin with disastrous grassroots democracy. Motorcycle trip to the North Cape for the radioactive radiation survey (Chernobyl).
1997 Exhibition concept for a Boris Lurie Werkshow at the Weimar-Buchenwald Memorial.
1999 Start with NO!art works on the Internet.
2000 Trip to New York to view and register the NO!art archive with Boris Lurie. (The latter co-founded the New York NO!art movement in 1959. Since 1978 he worked together with Dietmar Kirves to continue the NO!art movement. Together they realized the first Notart anthology and the "NO!art in Buchenwald" book as well as several exhibitions).
2001 Preparation of NO!art works in New York for the exhibition NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom at the Block Museum in Evanston near Chicago.
2003 curator of the first NO!-ON show in Berlin with artists from Berlin, Paris and New York.
If you would like to learn more about Dietmar Kirve's current artistic and cultural work, visit his websites:►no-art and ►mindshots
The structure of the exhibition is based on the gray title pages of the total of 11 issues of the two series of booklets. Individual issue pages and original documents are presented around the title pages. They contain all the information relevant for a caption, so we have dispensed with them.