Alexander Kluge. Gardens of Cooperation

October 14, 2017 – January 14, 2018

A joint project by
La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona and
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart

Curators
Valentín Roma, Hans D. Christ, Iris Dressler

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The exhibition Alexander Kluge: Gardens of Cooperation is based on the comprehensive exhibition of the same name—devoted to the writer, filmmaker, and theorist Alexander Kluge—which was on show at the art center La Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona in 2016. In close collaboration with the director of La Virreina, Valentín Roma, and with Alexander Kluge himself, the Württembergischer Kunstverein has developed a reformulation and expansion of seven single aspects of this project.


The exhibition’s two main points of reference in terms of content revolve on the one hand around the metaphor of the garden and the idea of the collective—of cooperation—in Kluge’s oeuvre and modes of operation; and on the other hand around forms of emancipation, which are not only the subject of his theoretical and artistic explorations of history, the present, and the future, but with which he himself also tirelessly engages.

Emancipation—the revolt against repressive living conditions controlled from the top down—is an enduring, nonlinear process, as Kluge repeatedly emphasizes. Working on this process involves the excavation of long bygone, buried moments of emancipation, but also the perpetuation and reinvention of these moments with a view to the future. It is a collective work that requires many decentrally organized platforms or “gardens.” The exhibition Gardens of Cooperation is conceived as one of these platforms.

It comprises a selection of early and more recent short and long films by Kluge, including specially developed programs of his so-called “minute films”, as well as a number of texts, documents, and other materials. Conceived in the form of an archipelago, it revolves around seven “islands” that deepen aspects such as orality, the “power of feelings,” or the excavation of buried pathways of upheaval. In a work that has been newly produced specifically for this exhibition, Kluge moreover deals with questions of slavery and slave uprising, resistance, and rebellion. All mentioned aspects will also be reflected in the context of the opera: which has accompanied and mirrored all misunderstandings of the bourgeois epoch. “Without music, life would be an error.”

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D-70173 Stuttgart
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Alexander Kluge
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart