Gardens of Cooperation
05.11.2016 – 05.03.2017
Curators: Neus Moyano, Valentín Roma, Gillermo Zuaznabar
Opening: Friday 4 November, 7 pm
Gardens of Cooperation is the first exhibition on Alexander Kluge in Spain and the only museum retrospective to date to cover his entire oeuvre in an international context.
Alexander Kluge has overseen the show himself and provided a large amount of previously unseen materials, from both his personal archives and the documentary resources of his production company, Kairos-Film. All the audiovisual compilations on display have been specifically created by Alexander Kluge for La Virreina Centre de la Imatge.
Along with this, in the context of Gardens of Cooperation, nine new short films are being premiered. These include Herbert Hausdorf: Brother of my Mother, The Opera Principle, Digital Night Sky over Paris on November 13, 2015: Dark and Mute, Time to Live Against Money, Ingeborg Bachmann: Homage to Maria Callas, Anatomy of a Centaur (According to Leonardo da Vinci), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Triptychon and The Intestine Thinks.
Alexander Kluge (Halberstadt, 1932) has had an astonishingly multifaceted career. With fifty-five short and feature films, almost three thousand television programmes, a vast literary oeuvre and highly influential essays on political theory and film history under his belt, he has outgrown the epithet of cult creator to become a kind of multi-limbed institution. Be it championing the filmmaking industry, influencing parliamentary debates, giving controversial interviews or writing polemical articles, Kluge has been shaking up public life in Germany for over half a century.
Heir to the enlightened Marxism of the Frankfurt School yet also a staunch supporter of the collectivist spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, he creates projects that seek to open up sustainable shared spaces—“gardens of cooperation in the thick of the information jungle”, in his own words. Rather than taking on the Robinsonian mantle of the totemic artist, Kluge espouses the transforming power of social experience. His rejoinder to the uncritical consumption of cultural goods is to use writing, images and music as the means of production of emotions—the practical wing of ideas.
Somewhere between Dadaist symphony and opera, between Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk and audiovisual atlas, his projects eschew any division of labour and even reject the notion of the finished piece. He indistinctly and simultaneously re-explores the same issues from the fields of literature, film and television, and overhauls his own films, stories and television programmes by shifting the perspective from one sphere to another and reusing clips to create never-ending friezes or the briefest of narratives and film essays.
Kluge lies as far away from the sacramental notion of self-sufficient work as he is from glorifying rhetoric on processes and methodologies, crossovers of different disciplines and exchanges of artistic grammar. His entire professional career personifies his agile and implacable commitment to a substantially useful practice, freed from special interests and inbreeding, while his work unfolds like an infinite score, a fabulous diatribe against human obstinacy in the face of the vicissitudes of history.