In its summer exhibition from June 11 through October 10, 2010 KICKEN BERLIN is delighted to present a cross section of works by Dieter Appelt. In addition to photography and drawing, a sculpture from his new series Section (2009) will also be on view. One of the most important contemporary German photographic artists, Appelt assumes an open-ended concept of work that encompasses photography, film, and sculpture as well as drawing. Reinterpreting several earlier works has been part of his process of consistently questioning various media.
The two-part sculpture Section, which consists of an organically shaped hollow body masked by a grated structure on its open upper surface, physically resembles the human brain. The title Section recalls the horizontal layers of computed tomography scans’ medical depictions of the brain, and the mesh covering also reflects this association. In the exhibition the sculpture enters into dialog with the photographic tableaux and the ink drawings Cineprisma (1997).
The integration of sculpture and photography in one concept is essential to the work Section (2009): Section serves as a source for future photographs. The transience of sculpture, for instance when viewed from different perspectives, can be recorded through photography. In some cases Appelt alludes to examples of Brancusi’s sculpture photographs, which captured the three-dimensional works in a new light.
Appelt’s images and objects deal, as one title suggests, with the “Presence of things in time” (Präsenz der Dinge in der Zeit). A wall-sized photograph such as Übertragung einer Bewegung/Transmission of a Movement (1983) expands the photographer’s/viewer’s actual movements in space into a total of 160 film stills and thus makes palpable the movement of the body (and of the camera) as well as the ramble of the gaze.
Practising a worldview based upon one’s self, using one’s own body as a tool as Appelt did in earlier photographic works, is evident in the variations on hand motifs. While the moment of elemental transformation is central to the early work Vergrasung der Hände/Grassing of the Hands (1978), the inscribed, numbered, and black-and-white-colored hands in the newly interpreted, nine-part Cine-Tableau Double Take No. 2 (2010) are simultaneously medium and mode of expression. In the nine-part tableau Wiesent-Cinema (2002), Appelt develops a two- dimensional, sequential image of an abstracted and sculptural female body under fabric drapery.
The mirror motif can also be traced throughout Appelt’s work. The two unique silver gelatin prints – positive and negative – of Innerhalb bestimmter Zeitintervalle/Within Certain Intervals of Time (2009) combine the gesture of showing and clutching with the disintegrating mirrored surface, a peek “through the looking glass” into a magically charged visual realm. The photographic image as a space of transition recalls one of Appelt’s most well-known works, Der Fleck auf dem Spiegel, den der Atemhauch schafft/ The Mark on the Mirror Breathing Makes from 1978.