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Franz Erhard Walther : Shifting Perspectives //Streaming Festival

Visitors in the activation area at Haus der Kunst activating Franz Erhard Walther, Erster Weksatz, 1963-1969. Courtesy Franz Erhard Walther Stiftung, ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020. Photo : Diana Pfammatter (March, 2020).

Franz Erhard Walther Shifting Perspectives Streaming Festival November 28, 2020, 10am–5:30pm

In a time, that demands physical distance, it is nevertheless important to maintain closeness to one another.

Over the past months, visitors to the exhibition Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Perspectives were invited to try out innovative forms of togetherness. The core of the exhibition, which presented six decades of his artistic oeuvre, was the activation area where the work activations took place. The exhibits made of cotton fabric can be worn or entered, whereby the body becomes a module and means of representation. During the activation of the pieces, various interpersonal situations can occur. Walther lets the viewer become a protagonist, whose actions become images.

Franz Erhard Walther (b. 1939 in Fulda) has pushed the paradigm shift towards an open concept of work—beyond a traditional understanding of panel painting and sculpture. He elevates elements such as the body, space, place, and time to artistic means, with textiles and colour serving as vehicles.

On the occasion of the retrospective, Haus der Kunst is dedicating an all-day streaming festival to the artist. Live activations of historical exhibits, an artist talk, interviews with his work collaborators, and two panel discussions with scholars and curators will explore the current relevance of his work.

The digital event will be focused on the aspects of process and action as constants within Walther’s oeuvre. To what extent does Walther’s lifelong reconciliation of the purported antipodes of object and body juxtapose art with life ; and does he succeed in creating spheres of circulation ?

What does this mean for the triad of object, image, and representation ; and what new networks of relationships between producer, work, and recipient has Walther initiated ?

The activation opens up a wide range of possibilities, which is why the appearance of the formations remains changeable – and is therefore never tangible in its simultaneity. Did Walther’s radical interweaving of work categories lead to overcoming closed spheres of presentation ?

His significance for an entire generation of contemporary performative artists, who declare the body to be their material and create situation-related, action-oriented, and ephemeral works of a pictorial character, will be explored.

The Shifting Perspectives Streaming Festival is intended to open up diverse perspectives on Walther’s artistic practice, which lend clarity to his media reflections of historical significance and make a future-oriented reading of his work possible.

Curator : Jana Baumann, Haus der Kunst


Program highlights

Artist talk Franz Erhard Walther in conversation with Jana Baumann, Senior Curator Haus der Kunst, Munich

Panel I Image as Action : Transforming Life Processes into the Visual Moderated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator International Art (Performance), Tate Modern, London Gregor Quack, PhD Candidate, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut “The Artist’s Image of Society : Textile Social Theory in the Work of Franz Erhard Walther” Gaëtane Verna, Director, The Power Plant, Toronto “Franz Erhard Walther : A Call for Action”

Panel II Generative Praxis : Medial Entanglements as Artistic Expansion Moderated by Erik Verhagen, Professor for Contemporary Art History, Université polytechnique Hauts-de-France, Valenciennes Yasmil Raymond, Rector, Hochschule für Bildende Künste–Städelschule “Franz Erhard Walther : Drawing Up a Common Ground” Gregory Williams, Associate Professor for Contemporary and Modern Art, Boston University “Practice Situations : Franz Erhard Walther and the Framing of Action” Christian Rattemeyer, former director, SculptureCenter, New York “Franz Erhard Walther : Sculpture into Painting”

Conversation Susanne Walther, Chairwoman, Franz Erhard Walther Foundation, and Johanna Walther, textile engineer and long-term collaborator of Franz Erhard Walther

The Streaming Festival, will be streamed via HDK Live on the Haus der Kunst website.

At night, the new production Anwesenheit (Presence), conceived during the lockdown in spring to be present in absentia, will once again be projected onto the west façade of Haus der Kunst. The projection is also streamed every night via HDK Live.

The event is a cooperation between Haus der Kunst and the Franz Erhard Walther Foundation.