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Arabian Nights: Early DIA and Film Art From the Collection of the Kunstmuseum Bonn
Christof Kohlhofer, Gods Golfball Production 1974/75. Acrylic auf nessel. H 140 X B 95. Kunstmuseum Bonn.

BONN.- The Kunstmuseum Bonn has at its disposition one of the most important video collections in Germany. Its special significance comes not least of all from the fact that it is comprised of important and rare video works, above all from the 1970s, which the museum took over with the Ingrid Oppenheim Collection. In the seventies and early eighties Ingrid Oppenheim was a central figure in the Rhenish art scene, whose gallery became a platform for media art in ist infancy. After her sudden death in 1986, her collection was donated to the Kunstmuseum and became the basis of the museum’s video collection.

The upcoming exhibition presents films and slides from the mid-seventies, illustrating the media landscape in which video art evolved at that time. Two of those films, by Katharina Sieverding (born 1944) and Klaus Mettig (born 1950), also remind of the vibrancy of the brisk super 8 scene. Another important artistic format of those years is the dia projection, which sometimes acoustically accompanied, dominated the display of large-sized photography in exhibitions long before the present day formats. Dia art was less concerned about the
aesthetic statement of a single picture, but rather about the evolution of visual stories. In the cases of Buthe (1944 – 1994) and Kohlhöfer (born 1942), they tell stories about journeys to foreign countries that serve as projection space for phantasy and inspire the artists’ work through the encounter of the foreign. This especially applies to Michael Buthe whose diary of a trip to Persia and Afghanistan shows alternatives to the aesthetics of the modernistic western world.

The exhibition aims to introduce a series of these video rarities and thus thematizes the very beginning of this visual medium.

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