July 3, 2016 - Haus am Waldsee - Ingo Mittelstaedt: Chinese Whispers
July 3, 2016

Haus am Waldsee

Ingo Mittelstaedt, Bunte Löcher #2, 2012. C-print, 120 x 100 cm. Courtesy Galerie Koal Berlin.

Ingo Mittelstaedt
Chinese Whispers
July 8–August 28, 2016

Artist talk : July 14, 7:30pm, with Ingo Mittelstaedt and Prof. Dr. Peter Raue, moderated by Dr. Katja Blomberg
Book presentation: July 20, 7:30pm, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich introduces his book ”Siegerkunst” on the phenomenon of collecting art

Haus am Waldsee
Argentinische Allee 30
14163 Berlin
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +49 30 8018935
info@hausamwaldsee.de

www.hausamwaldsee.de
Facebook / Instagram

Ingo Mittelstaedt
Chinese Whispers
July 8–August 28, 2016

Artist talk : July 14, 7:30pm, with Ingo Mittelstaedt and Prof. Dr. Peter Raue, moderated by Dr. Katja Blomberg
Book presentation: July 20, 7:30pm, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich introduces his book ”Siegerkunst” on the phenomenon of collecting art

Haus am Waldsee
Argentinische Allee 30
14163 Berlin
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +49 30 8018935
info@hausamwaldsee.de

www.hausamwaldsee.de
Facebook / Instagram

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Haus am Waldsee in Berlin, the German photo artist Ingo Mittelstaedt (b. 1978) has worked with the extensive, previously unpublished private collection of the well-known lawyer and art expert Peter Raue. Beginning with David Hockney’s series "The Blue Guitar" (1975), Mittelstaedt’s main concern is a total installation addressing the subject of seeing, collecting and recycling objects as well as ideas from a contemporary perspective.

Ingo Mittelstaedt uses the artworks from the Peter Raue collection as his raw material from which he selects, which he collages and which he relates to his own photographic works and found objects from his studio. Questions of authorship and ownership morph into a new network of references, images, objects and texts.

Like in the game chinese whispers, in this exhibition messages are continuously passed on from one artist to another, from one generation to the next, reinterpreted in altered contexts and different media. In our interconnected world the frame of reference has expanded enormously, becoming instantaneous and highly complex at the same time. Mittelstaedt translates these digital patterns into an artistic practice of controlled coincidences. The result is a new way of seeing things and objects.

The exhibition Chinese Whispers is neither only a tribute to the exceptional advocate and collector of the arts Peter Raue, nor the result of a curatorial achievement on the part of the artist Ingo Mittelstaedt. Rather, the total installation constitutes an artwork. In eight spatial images Mittelstaedt questions the hierarchies of art history and subverts the rules of common exhibition practices. Like in a digital network, artworks from the collection, photographs and found objects from the artist’s studio stumble into a dense yet soft-spoken conversation about how artistic ideas remain alive in the 21st century.

In this sense, Mittelstaedt uses the parts of the Peter Raue collection he has selected as a cache of artistic references, which he enriches, in the tradition of the London Independent Group from the early 1950s, with trivial objects and his own photographic works. In this process of transformation artworks are divested of societal norms and valuations and returned to their artistic sources of inspiration.

One of the "Long Poems" by Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) provides access and bracketing to the exhibition: "The Man with the Blue Guitar" (1937). In this poem, Stevens evokes the relation between reality and the human faculty of imagination. Stevens later remarked that "The Man with the Blue Guitar" would "say a few things that I felt impelled to say 1) about reality 2) about the imagination 3) their interrelations; and 4) principally, my attitude toward each of these things." While Stevens was inspired by Picasso’s painting The Old Guitarist (1903) in 1937, in the mid-1970s David Hockney, in turn, took Stevens’ poem as his starting point for a series of etchings he called "The Blue Guitar" (1976/77). A copy of this 20-piece series by David Hockney has found its way into the Peter Raue collection. Ingo Mittelstaedt takes the poem by Wallace Stevens and the Hockney series as the point of departure that activates Chinese Whispers.

The exhibition Chinese Whispers shows eight identifiable images in space. Together, they consist of more than 100 artworks from the collection of Peter Raue, almost 40 photographic works by Ingo Mittelstaedt and found objects from the artist’s studio.

Many of the works incorporated into the discourse of this exhibition are by artists who have had exhibitions at Haus am Waldsee in the past: Cy Twombly (1963), Joseph Beuys (1967), Rainer Krister (1972), Marcel Duchamps (1973), Marcel Broodthaers (1974), David Hockney (1975), Rebecca Horn (1975) and Gotthard Graubner (1987).

An accompanying catalogue, edited and introduced by Katja Blomberg, with an essay by Wolfgang Ullrich, will be published at Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, in German and English, 80 pages.

Further information: www.hausamwaldsee.de

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