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von Bismarck

03.08. – 23.08. 2015

Tiere sind dumm und Pflanzen noch viel dümmer

Kunstverein Göttingen is pleased to present the first institutional exhibition of Julius von Bismarck in Germany from July 5 to August 23, 2015.

The works of Julius von Bismarck span the fields of art, science, and technology. With his installations, video works, and performances he probes the human perceptual apparatus and uses the laws of physics to challenge our habitual perceptions. His interdisciplinary approach is a creative investigation of the world and the world of nature as it is being increasingly transformed by human agency. His artistic inventions, such as his Story Telling Apparatus (2009) and Image Fulgurator (2011), for which he was awarded the Ars Electronic Collide@CERN prize, as well as his video series Punishment (2012) have garnered substantial attention. Through the use of his own body and the construction of experimental devices, Bismarck assumes the roles of explorer, researcher, and protagonist. Despite the immediate and sometimes humorous quality of his work, the artist is not merely interested in the playful manipulation of technology or the image, but he is primarily concerned with a critical examination of a society which is undergoing a rapid shift in values.

The exhibition in Göttingen presents a selection of video works by the artist, which function both as independent works and documentations of performances or the demonstration of various apparatuses. For example, Punishment I (2012) shows von Bismarck in varied locations throughout the world as whips the mountains, the sea, and a number of iconic monuments until he collapses in exhaustion. In Landscape Painting (2015), a new work recently produced in Mexico, the artist has a mountainous landscape painted white by a team of local assistants and then painted over in true-to-nature colors. Other works share the character of an experimental set-up, such as a number of works dealing with the theme of rotation: Egocentric System (2014/5), Versuch unter Kreisen (2012), The World is Turning Around Me (2011), Polo, Mittelpunkt einer Bewegung (2011), and Self Revolving Torus (2010).

In conjunction with the exhibition the Kunstverein Göttingen is producing the artist’s first exhaustive publication, which will be published by Kerber Verlag.