Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Anselm Kiefer - The German painter and sculptor

I painted a long time on this painting
and then you lay us on layers and layers
and now I go back to the beginning you
know it's like in the cosmos it's always
construction demolition reconstruction
all the stars who died and some others
are are born it's always like this
who who is responsible for that who who
started this on the beginning we don't
know we don't know why we are here we
don't know where we go it's quite as
pertinent because they have an intellect
to to try to find out that we cannot
then when a star explodes all the
material goes in the cosmos it's there
it's not it's not God doesn't forget it
you know and then one day it will be a
recomposed it will be the gravity very
composed another star and so so I keep
it all I put it in one of the boxes
there you know if you come you can see
here different this is movable
here are different paintings you see
different states it's much better now I
think
[Music]
[Music]
Keitha is emphatically one of the most
significant artists currently working in
the world
[Music]
within the art world Kieffer's a giant
really
there are some people whose crazy
received verges on the demonic and he is
one of those
[Music]
when I was a child I did tunnels in the
garden of my parents and and then I I
wrote something on on a made a drawing
on a piece of paper I put it into Tana
and they closed it
I thought thought you know why you do
this it must be a deep need to do things
like that
you
you
I'm thinking of when you were born 19
obviously that moment in the history of
Germany when I was a child the neighbor
house was a ruin and another puzzle in
the wrong and this was your playground
yes I need nothing else
I played with his brakes in the ruins of
the top of Taniya Shang and you know
there was a mass of them I could play
the lab
you
Kieffer's was a generation that had been
very end of the war has grown up in the
ruins of the war that seemed such a
percentage any recovery of Germany but
also dealing with the guilt the
historical scar of Nazism a lot of it
had been buried and I think Kiefer was
part of a generation that started to
question
it's extraordinary now because Germany
has been about the best place in the
world to teach his children about the
war and the Holocaust and the Nazis but
even as late as the sixties it wasn't
the case something profound and horrible
has gone wrong
Germany is shrouded in silence and
denial a kind of willed amnesia the
Nazis took over art they decided what
was good and what was bad Kiefer wanted
to sort of purify cleanse that role
again
from the very beginning yeah you were
very bold online you know reckless
almost because as you said
you
[Music]
the Zeke I'll salute had been banned in
Germany since 1945 dressing up in his
father's ver Mart uniform and performing
it for a camera with Keith as protest
against forgetting when he took it to
his tutors most of them were horrified
and the only one who understood what
this precocious 24 year old artist was
trying to do was one of the tutors
called cook and my sister who had
actually been in a concentration camp I
believe and he he supported Kiefer in
moving forward in this vein
spies so tall
[Music]
- the score merely stars days as a young
artist and some Kiefer prodded
incessantly but the open wound of German
history
his paintings from that time a covered
with references to mythical German
heroes Siegfried Herman Parsifal
blood-soaked legends of the deep past
these are the same heroes around whom
the Nazis built a cult
this made critics uneasy led to outrage
when he represented Germany at the
Venice Biennale with some accusing him
of fascism was he trying to redeem these
German heroes and wash away their sins
if people say Oh where's me that is a
neo-nazi then then I say nothing because
I go back to an earlier time in which
time I don't know what I was and then
it's not clear what I was in 30 or in 39
it's not clear what happens with me in
this time and most of the intellectuals
I don't ask this question what they
would have done or what they feel really
keifa's first flush of success came in
the 1980s and he used the money to buy
and renovate an old brick factory in
Buchan Germany
here he expanded into sculpture and
installation he began to create a world
for himself
[Music]
I've come to buchan to see this first
studio for myself and to watch Kiefer
install some new work I think we have to
go over over there yes we go up here
[Music]
Comfort to your head
this was found our plan but I didn't
continue it looks awkward
[Music]
it's a bewildering and slightly
disorientating experience and Kiefer
himself is difficult to keep up with and
not just physically sometimes I put
diamonds in then it's Valentino's you
know the best designer no no no no no no
Valentino from from the antiquity no
from the from the he was in the second
second second SEC century after Christ
I'm looking down here and I'm seeing
these boxes obviously you've collected
these things yeah yeah where do you find
them in this building was a lot of
material of ancient craft craft things
yeah yeah the worst ones is cool burning
I found a lot of things I always see
thinks it could fit once in my fur but
you don't necessarily know where they're
going to fit no mostly not let's go down
here when I did the straw pain together
in the 80s then I had it sometimes an X
and it took the straw away yeah when it
was too much or when I wanted it tasts
wehmanen's of swans and painting and
then I didn't throw the vena I brought
it here I thought that's probably been
here for how many years when you do I
did see a fault for function since 80 84
so it's been here for about thirty years
nineteen thirty years yeah well a dozen
plans for its survive very very well
it's do you throw anything away not
never never anything I think it's all
can be reused or transformed it was here
in Boonton that Kieffer's work began to
develop in new directions
as he plunged deeper into the guilt and
horror of German history it was as
though somehow conventional paint was no
longer enough
he began to mix it with ash earth and
straw the debris of the world these two
paintings are Kieffer's response to
death view a poem about the Holocaust by
the Jewish poet Paul Salaam shroud
Sameer could've who you're thinkin
dicknuts you think and the humid accent
Morgan's feel clink in the ovens if
you're thinking when thinkin
a man void in the house
thank gold in the south margarita
then ashiness ha should limit if the
power of the world can be expressed by
artists then that is an achievement
ously the what the word achievement is
very difficult it's as horrible the
subject is art becomes beauty that's
that's malediction even occurs a diverse
set all becomes beauty you know but it
doesn't mean that you have found the
sense of the world if you have
constructed a sense you could be said
used to think that art could redeem the
world
it cannot
you see there there there's a uh
terrassa break on the brick ovens this
is really for me very shocking this and
I never changed anything I just put the
button because this is already I cannot
do it that better and um it's like it is
you know but of course without saying it
this is sure very troubling when you
look at it is for this reason I never
did something in here is already enough
yeah
then gold in us ha margarita dye
nationís ha should limit
Julieta the reason Keefer has returned
to buchan with his assistance is to
install these new works here are those
occupations photographs again now reused
and transformed just like the straw
they'd been blown up on giant sheets of
lead in the sixties I couldn't do them
because they're not the money too big
big exposures so there was a lot of
potentiality left you led such a charge
material
I mean it's poisonous it's base material
it's alchemical and Keefer loves all of
that I think he likes the fact it's
contaminated I think you know the
contamination of history by various
regimes is something he's explored I
think the fact that a lot of the books
are made of lead that the literal
interpretation the weight of history
that still reverberates
history is a material it's like clay you
know you can form it as you want it you
can abuse it you know this form what
they all do since the 1990s
Kieffer's artistic vision has like the
cosmos expanded
[Music]
he began to attach objects to his
canvases plants LED books the weapons of
war each object has a deeper meaning an
allusion to one of Kieffer's wildly
diverse interests there are references
to ancient civilizations to Aqil 17th
century philosophers
[Music]
or to NASA's attempts to organize the
stars if they could be said to share a
common theme it is man's quest to make
sense of the world the great thing for
me about Anton is that he's really only
interested in the big questions in life
you know how did I get to be here what
am I here to do and that's what he's
trying to work out and work through in
his in his painting and in his
sculptures and and all of his work are
you a believer I believe not in the
personal God who will help me or condemn
me your work means in the hell am i but
it's it's evident that there there is
something above us far above us who what
we cannot understand more and more you
asked you said why we are here and for
what reason nobody knows it so for this
reason you are always with all this look
so looking searching for something he
has this kind of Stanley Kubrick's like
you know view which takes in
simultaneously the birth of the planet
and the death of the planet and the
birth of civilization of death and
civilization and you can you know the
small stuff in between can piss off
in 1992 Keefer moved his studio to
Bergerac in the South of France without
the help of architects or engineers
Keitha and his assistants have turned
this 200 acre site into one of the most
dazzling jaw-dropping works of art in
the world there are tunnels towers and
pavilions to house his installations
it is Kieffer's imagination writ large
on the landscape
[Music]
a great kisser
now you can look through Elektra look
very yes oh so so long feet from here
well mustn't Wi-Fi my 9 sliced elect
opposite oh wait what's good huh deficit
Lanka are by this year
Solana mentioned so much there is a
feeling of Barger of a giant
intellectual as well as physical
playground it does feel like someone has
been allowed to let themselves loose and
do what they want to do and explore and
play he's one of those artists who
absolutely uses selling of art to fund
these extraordinary projects there's no
commercial benefit in bar Jack it's done
because there is this extraordinary
compulsion
Judy Ann is here low tonight with Tony
ocular Tony Romo for VAR c 0 c go not a
hippo me I said
[Music]
so how would you describe our Jack is
the working studio or an exhibition
space award it almost feels like a
laboratory I would say laboratory is a
good word yes it's a vision space
laboratory and it's a work of art oh who
has different issues or different
material you know it landscape it's it's
minimalized inception audits its length
then all it's all this together it is an
overwhelming place to walk around and
normally it's off-limits to the public
but one month from now
Kiefer is inviting a select group of
curators and collectors here for the
very first time
and there's work to be done
Ellis the bossy book ah need million shy
stomach open it up ah Tony if Odia a la
famiglia
Le'Veon can oniy bah they are no Western
Tony West well where's the don't gotta
wait okay Tony
[Applause]
so I started this three containers I put
them and I put around other containers
and then in the in the in the space
between I put concrete I'll just popcorn
here you can see the container is still
visible it was an inner container and
the container was outside I took the bay
neither wall so I started here I'd want
to trust to have three places underneath
the earth and like bronchus or so and
then I thought it so nice and I
continued with the next in the next in
the next and above the building all of a
sudden so it was just growing going like
a painting you know I like things in
movement I don't like them static like
them at the move and that they have
surprised me if he's will collapse it
would be a wonderful surprise you know I
wanted it did it slides a little bit you
know because can imagine and it would
slide a little bit we've been wonderful
no but he didn't didn't didn't want I
get a cigar now
I was a long time I had a problem I
didn't know ever would be a writer or a
painter now I cannot change anymore
it's Stannah his book shelves are full
of you know physics and cosmology he's
really genuinely conceptually so
omnivorous you know he's still and some
the kind of teenager in a way you can't
who's very annoyed at life at not giving
him another hundred years and she can
read absolutely everything and that
hasn't changed at all
[Music]
it is a printing machine they are filled
up for centuries with meanings you know
its enormous and yeah and I transform
them now in a new meaning in the Hebrew
tradition the letters are sacrosanct
however you combine them even in a
completely irrational way it makes a
sense you know because I let us
themselves are holy
[Music]
don't need the prongs is your loo select
clipsafe ma no no no I was Rafael what's
going on Francesco like hit the button
for sleepily Amba my daddy
these pillows are made with a drill so
there was nothing we drilled and then in
this hole in this hole in this hole we
put the concrete these are the pillows
them as usually tourneys easily I said
to Julie Tony tell at the end of blue
simply um oh yeah I left the hole
because I like to come to earth in a
room you know it's wonderful now I only
suppose I become Chavez a live in here
that's gonna have a sing-off area to
show button
yeah kabuki prove in DC this is Yvonne
sell me money
I got it said give me a Tony for vertigo
Chozen say Julie said Tony this has to
be done quickly because I wanted this
okay like they should be good to go up
but how they can go out the best will be
by Deb I hear these muscle fast tune in
yeah and so awkward we can do something
like this and so do not touch hello Tony
then he did it stays like this you know
maybe you will get a little bit more
stones when we are gonna work on it but
yeah sitter
Oh
[Music]
[Applause]
you like scale don't you I know you're
in denial about it is it important you
know I you know I don't look at it like
you look it's my it's my gesture it's
also it's it's my body
who is implicated you know the quotation
of Nietzsche the philosopher has to
stand it has to be you have to dance oh
so it's it's the physical part is very
obvious and the scale is a product of
the of the dance if you want you know
[Music]
I
in your work it makes me look at the
world differently your use of material
whether it's LED or it's straw material
which ages and changes and transform I
think the transformation is is in them
because for example since a few years
some years I do electrolyzers I put the
painting in electrolyzed path
you
you know I want to put some time on this
painting I want to accelerate the time
and this is what the arguments do what
happens in nature they accelerate my
paintings goes on there off to change
they get green alright or with the time
I think you can see beauty and anything
I remember I was walking once on the
beach in India and the people came in
the morning to the sea to shit you know
a lot lot of thousands you know it was
covered with shit you know and it was
fantastic you know you could see all
colors it's a palette of colors now they
are no they are no ugly things
when you look at homes the Germany after
may 45 you know it looks so fantastic
this this damaged towns you know I mean
it artists like each writer he his
capital is a childhood you know all what
you were to learn there what to solve
that because you saw there without any
connotations you saw it like innocently
innocently and that's important here all
the source of inspiration the source of
doing something is there
you know when you are trying to have
little little little equipment and now I
have real ones it's but it's the same
you know it's not it's not so much
different
after the opposite rain so on yetze hara
this is your opportunity to do socially
commenced er no Frasier forgot the Alan
ludus possible on teen movie Libby Libby
the plea
what you do Salida got something up you
prepare horse even know may miss a book
observe a lock on the effective wrong
unless it will fail palookas on to
develop and chuck chuck wood or Melanie
yeah I mean I live with a peasant collar
what right now
for what most of the gallery
this was less good
Athena Allah no Cassie promise - M
you are genius yeah you're quite cheap
yeah unfair
Sabo sigil that son you say come on
Mount Isa I would like to put this now
[Music]
I like this machine
[Music]
yeah now I have to guard against father
sometimes so because there's always a
middle way or compromise between chaos
and order
if it's too chaotic nothing comes out
you know if it's to order it sterilized
you know so you have to always find the
way between these two things
let's go
those most amazing is trying to stick up
a bank or I guess these pivots their own
fellow fellows all
boxing
[Music]
[Music]
[Music]
now it gets better
[Music]
yeah yeah
[Music]
sunflowers are everywhere in keifa's
universe he seems to prefer them dead
and dried up when their heads are packed
with seeds a potent symbol of death and
rebirth
[Applause]
six years ago Kiefer moved his studio
for a third time he now works here on an
industrial estate half an hour east of
Paris in a warehouse that used to belong
to a department store
unlike bar jack everything here is on
one level paintings and sculptures can
be moved quickly on wheels in fact
everyone who works here uses bicycles to
get around
you
you know this what you see here is like
my brain it's all the synapses and
things and I go around and sometimes I
find late a new connection between some
object in the painting in the optional
between two paintings and so on
obviously you've collected these things
yeah oh they're a lot of things they are
skins of snakes there are rails out of
clay or locomotives of flowers all kind
of plants they breathe all kind of
things
so you have your memories and your
materials but also you might want to
come back to these works at any time so
they're all here for you too they're
waiting I think to wait is something
important
it's philosophical to wait now you know
today people don't wait anymore
you always contact with your friend with
your wife you've always you're you're
handy with you and oh now I'm there and
I'm here it's it's no more waiting for
someone some of these works have been
waiting for a very very long time I
think their works from 71 I think into
containers outside I have works from the
earlier 70 but I know where they are in
which container and then I go with my
bicycles for all these rooms all the
spaces and then I have an idea
Tim you fuck
Oh give up you know
entertained Indians even dissolve within
the more tangled circular thought that
pussy I to signature fetches ending in
God others under etomidate know what my
reality fantasy team can beat my body
kudos you know Stanley door Jesus our
here a Paranal it was Illinois no no
enough
and there is Katya now she appeared only
and they are completely opposite I see
[Applause]
[Music]
do you enjoy the process of making it's
difficult and sometimes it's a fair law
because an any state of over painting
that you have 100 possibilities and you
have to choose one it's a war in your
head you know
say Papa loca and then I look to three
days later I think it's shit you know it
happens you know because you you are in
a certain situation you think ah oh now
I got something you know and then you
have to wait to calm down you know and
let you see and sometimes the contrary
happens to you you think oh I worked so
much in it and now I it's damaged it's
it's it's not good that and then later
you see oh you find found a new thing
[Music]
how do you know when a work is ready to
leave the studio it's a very difficult
moment because it's artificial
interruption it's a crucial moment when
I have to give a painting to a show and
they sell it and then it's I cannot
touch it anymore because then the
corridors of Westeros are take over and
it's taboo for me
you should divide one in true and then
it's too much bill you cannot use these
walls come on this might be so cheap if
you like that someday sorry
this gets out for the moment but there
you could take it out okay you know what
how we used to show me the paintings
they were the paintings there was a
frame with wheels and the paintings were
outside so one day it was raining he
wanted to show me paintings on wheels
and I said Ansel maybe we should wait
until it doesn't rain he said rain won't
hurt it it might even help it and so he
would bring the paintings out and leave
them out in the rain while we're looking
at it then put them all back that's
what's so great about working with him a
cocoon is a dismount I was Nima I will
not cry if I was in on this can't see
Jenna
yeah it looks already better bill
I did some flower paintings I like so
much flowers you know and then I thought
that's difficult to do flowers you know
that's - it's too comforting people
would like it too much you know I
thought I have to give the flowers and
the fields of wonderful fields of laws
another meaning and I called it ma
cropland Henry Morgenthau jr. was an
American politician who in 1944 with
victory imminent devised a plan for
Germany after the war he wanted to
destroy its factories and turn the
entire country into farmland the Nazis
discovered this and gurbles seized the
opportunity to inspire the German people
to fight on we hadn't gotten in
Lexington you find plaintiff saga new
gear Kenan Gillen didn't plan the
student Marvin towel does axis million
and dark sugar industry Bob Jordan under
sunshine and captain ibn Khattab a vodka
back triada
each balloon here for Eden a Sweden
complainer dieters for three dollars
focus poor are not shown for her guns
and beige were clear on the sphere Jesus
can be lemurs out gave a man who
discovered again Deardon behind a pistol
pistol less than Arkansas
[Music]
so the morgenthau plan' didn't happen
but i like this idea of the of this not
executed plans and I think an artist has
good opportunity to do something this is
because it didn't buried you know I had
in my head the idea Germany would bloom
everywhere the bit with a lot of flowers
feet everywhere and it would be a
wonderful green country
now we go here because in the middle it
could be more how to save this
about andreas 2's decline line mahi was
contended in a humoristic line a llama
[Music]
you know you do exhibitions you sell
paintings and once you have to say
that's not finished that you you very
reluctant to say anything is finished
yes I think it's it's never finished
even when it left my studio it continues
because the the feeling of the
spectators play a big role because they
create then thousands and millions of of
their own picture of the picture
you get a feeling now that here's a man
at the height of his creative power I
mean he always had energy but I've just
seen a level of intensity in the last 10
years escalate and I think it's going to
be a in a phenomenal late period
maturity I think we call it the Earth's
I told you know what it is in English
static a feast had stats the start of
the time yeah well you can see a
portrait here see yes you see these
flowers yes the Queen of France you see
she doesn't look too pleased on
something what is this I don't think has
ever been anything like this quite in
the Royal Academy look at school if we
round to you know this is do you spend
much time establishing this image no no
four and a half hours
Wow goes quick I have know five people
and they throw it I've made it from this
side you know yeah it's always better
from the other side yeah you do you was
aware for this you it's controlled from
this side from the other side not and
it's mostly better and in this room you
have another camera that's me me project
it to another time to the geological
time you know yeah our life is so short
you know so it's this of self-portrait
is it it's a self aspiration to be
connected to the geological time then I
have more time you know perhaps it has
something to do with turning 70 next
year but key thoughts fascination with
time seems to be getting deeper and
wider
geological time is the oldest time on
earth stretching back millions of years
a timescale in which the human race and
everything everything it is achieved is
little more than a blip
[Music]
330 million years ago a big Metroid hit
the earth and then all the I think 97%
of all the livings was destroyed and if
the this matter I wouldn't have hit to
earth you wouldn't be there because the
evolution would be would have gone in
another direction
[Music]
Oh
[Music]
[Music]
now tell me do you dream and some you
know the most wonderful dreams always
connected with water water can be also
very holy with Olli dangerous yeah I
needed this comes down and dissolves all
I like this when I was growing up it
always nightmares but now I don't have
any more nightmares

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