September 19, 2020 - Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf - Josef Strau: Spirits and Objects...and How Non-Productive Love Is Sometimes Contained in Them...
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September 19, 2020

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf

Josef Strau, How I Became an Angel Painter, 2020

Josef Strau
Spirits and Objects...and How Non-Productive Love Is Sometimes Contained in Them...
Including videos made by Keren Cytter, Bernadette Van-Huy, Enzo Shalom, based on texts written by Josef Strau
September 3–November 22, 2020

Readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau: October 1, 7–9pm, More info to come
Readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau: October 8, 7–9pm, More info to come
Readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau: November 22, 4–6pm, More info to come

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Grabbeplatz 4
40213 Düsseldorf
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +49 211 21074211
F +49 211 21074229
mail@kunstverein-duesseldorf.de

kunstverein-duesseldorf.de
Facebook / Instagram

Josef Strau
Spirits and Objects...and How Non-Productive Love Is Sometimes Contained in Them...
Including videos made by Keren Cytter, Bernadette Van-Huy, Enzo Shalom, based on texts written by Josef Strau
September 3–November 22, 2020

Readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau: October 1, 7–9pm, More info to come
Readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau: October 8, 7–9pm, More info to come
Readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau: November 22, 4–6pm, More info to come

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Grabbeplatz 4
40213 Düsseldorf
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +49 211 21074211
F +49 211 21074229
mail@kunstverein-duesseldorf.de

kunstverein-duesseldorf.de
Facebook / Instagram

The Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf is pleased to present Spirits and Objects… and How Non-Productive Love Is Sometimes Contained in Them…, the first comprehensive institutional solo exhibition by Josef Strau in Germany. The exhibition brings together objects and text production made between 1991 and 2020 as an attempt to create an autobiographical depot, as if these objects were simply the result of time or of durations of psychological states, such as fear and anxiety, and sometimes also of desire. The hermeneutics of the transcended temporality of these aging, slowly fading art objects craves the discovery of time itself as the tool of salvation from their object reality. Strau’s complex, nested retrospective vessel contains, in addition to everyday stories, a random selection of objects representing, among other things, tigers, temples, tears, fences, children’s letters, angels, icons, and cured turtles. The most recent work is a spider clock, The 13 Hour Cymbal Spiderclock that exhales the Dreams, which announces a new time beyond the usual twelve hours.

This metaphysical repository is a first attempt by the nomadic artist to not habitually produce every exhibition anew, but to confront his own production history instead. However with a small twist: In addition to his earlier texts and works, this empirical-existential retrospective is accompanied by commentary, by philosophical-theological echoes from the present – by the artist himself as well as by other invited artists.

Spirits and Objects, much like earlier shows by Josef Strau, comprises several exhibitions at once. Its center is formed by three large-scale, walk-in, funnel-like cardboard cinemas, whose floor plans correspond to the letters R, V, and E. Inside are film adaptations of short passages of text written years ago by Strau, which his New York friends Keren Cytter, Bernadette Van-Huy, and Enzo Shalom produced on the occasion of the exhibition. On the wall behind the cardboard cinemas a selection of sixty text posters from previous exhibitions form a retrospective of sorts of Strau’s endless and meandering styles of writing. At certain points, the band of posters is covered by photographs and other works or surrounded by unpacked objects that refer to them, but can also be taken as independent objects.

The presentation Spirits and Objects is being accompanied by readings, lectures, and conversations with Josef Strau and invited guests, as well as by the production of a publication compiling all the text posters being presented in the exhibition (winter 2020/2021, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König). Further information will be announced separately in due course on the Kunstverein’s website. Curated by Eva Birkenstock with the curatorial assistance of Gesa Hüwe.

After 30 years in New York, Josef Strau, born in Vienna, moved to Cologne in February 2020—at least for the time being. His works have been shown in numerous international exhibitions and biennials, most recently at the Busan Biennial (2020), the Liverpool Biennial (2014), Secession, Vienna (2015), the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2014), and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007). Beyond the text production for his artistic work, Strau regularly publishes in catalogs and magazines. His publications include the essay "The Non-productive Attitude" (2006) as well as the art books Dreaming Turtle (2015), The New World 1, The Application, The New World 2, Travels in Turtle Island (both 2014), and The Atlantis Search Engine (2013).

Curated by Eva Birkenstock

Contact
Please check our website for regular updates on our program.
For further information please contact: Gesa Hüwe
T +49 (0) 211 21074212 / huewe[at]kunstverein-duesseldorf.de

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