"Peut-on rouler sans le permis?
Prendre une autre voie vivre une autre vie...
Marchons à l'essenciel..."
Welcome and thank you for visiting my homepage!
This web site provides you with a quick and rough overview of the art works that I've created since September 1984. Right here you can find my "official" works. My "inofficial" works can be found here.
After a pretty long break exhibitions have resumed again since the end of May 2014. For current exhibitions please see the section "Shop+Aktuelles".
I like working in series, focussing critically on contemporary issues, however my work is also about the beauty of the sea and the beauty of my hometown Hamburg. Sometimes I also enjoy doing art that could best be described as "weird stuff".
I started out painting, later I turned to different forms of digital media, including photography and video installations.
I studied art (for a short time) besides other subjects, but as an artist I am mainly self-taught.
Among the artists I admire and that influenced me a great deal are e.g. Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Paul Graham, Franz Erhard Walther, Richard Wentworth, Timm Ulrichs, Bruno Nagel, John Olsen, Mariko Mori, Motoi Yamamoto, Peter Roehr, Bill Viola, Richard Butler - just to name a few.
However, for the past decade and a half I've also been influenced by Dai Shin-Zen and Soto-Zen and especially in my videos you'll find a lot of traces of what might be called Zen-aesthetics and a Zen-like way of looking at things.
By the way: I love to swap with other artists. I really love group exhibitions that unite artists from different countries. And - if you like - you can also take part in one of my series called "Strandkugeln" (which could be described as "beach globes"). To participate please see below.
If you're interested in swapping, exhibiting collectively or taking part in my series "Strandkugeln/beach globes" please feel free to contact me:
Please enjoy this site and don't forget: Art is life!
Here we go:
As of the 3rd of January 2023 I stopped making art in German or using the German language (except projects that I started creating long before that date and that have not been finished yet). Therefore all works produced after the 3rd of January 2023 will be found in the Kunst section of this web site.
(2022; video installation; 01:27 min.; dimensions variable)
A new video from the sereies "WYSIWYG" (What You See Is What You Get).
Kindly supported by Terminal Investments International.
(2022; video installation; 00:49 min.; dimensions variable)
From the series WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).
Video „Under Pressure"
(2022; video installation; 01:24 min.; dimensions variable)
An intuitive attempt to find a metaphor for today`s society...
Video „Shredding Yesteryear (Monuments of the Administered World I)"
(2022; video installation; 05:59 min.; dimensions variable)
I shredded all of last years correspondence with government institutions (except those I have to keep).
(Charity money, free to copy according to Creative Commons BY-NC-ND, black/red, 13x6cm, since 2021)
This is charity money. Give it to the rich so they can feel a little bit better. It`s real money, not just a currency as it is backed by a real value: cherished love.
Get the setting copy here.
Artist book: "A Short History of Procrastination"
(Paperback, 21x14,8cm, 126 pages; ISBN 978-3-9821890-7-9)
Unlike others this book does not only tell you all you need to know about procrastination but it actually shows what it is talking about.
„Botschaften aus der Zukunft an das Jahr 2021"
(Messages from the future to those living in the year 2021)
(received 2021; 20 video installationens with English subtitles; dimensions variable)
To my surprise I received a number of videos a few days ago that I obviously will have produced in the future and will send back to the year 2021. I hope this mystery will be solved sooner or later. For the time being please enjoy the mysterious messages...
Video „Germany 2021 - a failed state in the heart of Europe"
(2021; video installation; 08:46 min.; dimensions variable)
Just a thought experiment or the truth hidden behind the scenes? Find out for yourself...
Video „Wechsel des Hamsterrads"
("Changing Exercise Wheels")
(2021; video installation; 2:07 min.; dimensions variable)
From the series WYSIWYG ("What you see is what you get") according to the 2nd "SUMMA": "Epochal thresholds reveal signs of the times and artists
create their new icons."
You can find the whole "SUMMA" here: https://tankred-tabbert-summa.de.tl/
Video „Parthenon der verbotenen Videos"
("Parthenon of censored videos")
(2021; video installation; 15:01 min.; dimensions variable)
In 2017 at documenta 14 I proclaimed my manifesto for the freedom of art and freedom of speech within Marta Minujin's "Parthenon of (censored) books". Meanwhile censorship has risen to an all time high across the world with people from all walks of life becoming victims of censorship. This work (partly in English) takes Marta Minujin's "Parthenon" to the digital realm by building a virtual "Parthenon" from videos that have been censored in recent months.
Video „Achtzehnter Elfter Zweitausendzwanzig - Teil 1"
(2020-2021; video installation; 1:17 min.; dimensions variable)
Video „Achtzehnter Elfter Zweitausendzwanzig - Teil 2"
(2020-2021; video installation; 1:23 min.; dimensions variable)
These two videos are about the abolishing of German "Basic Law" (basic forms of freedom guaranteed by civil rights) in the wake of Covid-19 laws. The second video expresses the hope that due to our protests our Basic Law will come into force again.
Video „ " [Untitled 2020]
(2020; video installation; 00:41 min.; dimensions variable)
No description available.
Video „EXURGE ET JUDICA MMXX"
(2020; video installation; 4:01 min.; dimensions variable)
Unfortunately this video is available in German only. It's about a book from 1475 edited by the Holy Office that I came across. I give a short summary of Medieval Inquisition and the power structures that were applied at the time. Some of the power structures put into practice then resemble those used by the German government in 2020. "Exurge et iudica" means get up and fight for your right(s) and is "reframed" in this video.
Video „Partys Bitcoins Bürger-Räte" [Parties Bitcoins Citizens' Councils]
(2020; video installation; 0:45 min.; dimensions variable)
Unfortunately this video is available in German only. It's about possible solutions to the crisis of 2020 by empowering people like you and me.
Video „Mein Bakunin" ["My Bakunin"]
(2020; video installation; 23:07 min.; dimensions variable)
Michail Alexandrowitsch Bakunin (1814-1876) was one of the leading figures of the anarchist movement. In this video (unfortunately available in German only) I present parts of my book on Bakunin and juxtapose some of Bakunin's major texts with some of my recent pictures.
Video „Wollt ihr?"
(2020; video installation; 1:18 min.; dimensions variable)
Unfortunately this video is available in German only. It's a completely intuitive film about the question "Quo vadis teutonia?".
Video „Three generations of formative anxiety"
(2020; video installation; 1:57 min.; dimensions variable)
This video is dedicated to George E. Marcus who back in 1997 taught that "the formative expressions of anxiety that construct cultures in change and boundaries between cultures are likely to be either missed or rationalized in terms of prior cultural logics."
Video „Shareholders' calluses"
(2020; video installation; 1:08 min.; dimensions variable)
In memoriam Rainer Pries (1938-2020).
Video „On the topicality of the Gessler's hat-motif in Friedrich Schillers 'Wilhelm Tell""
(2020; video installation; 4:23 min.; dimensions variable)
On the topicality of the Gessler's hat-motif in Friedrich Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell" based on footage shot in Berlin in autumn 2020...
Video „Rat Race"
(2018-2020; video installation; 3:04 min.; dimensions variable)
Maybe this sounds familiar to you...
Video „Last Supper"
(2020; video installation; 3:04 min.; dimensions variable)
"Last Supper" is a farewell five course menu to neoliberal capitalism. This video is a complement to the edition and the catalogue of the same name.
„Medien-Evolution / media evolution"
(2020; video installation; 5:01 min.; dimensions variable)
One generation later on my son plays the Yeno Space Blaster that I played when I was his age. The video is an invitation to wonder what has changed in the realm of computer games, what has remained the same, how computer games have changed us and societey and the like... (see also my video "Joseph Beuys spielt Final Fantasy IV".) Please enjoy!
(2020; editon of 44 prints; 59,4 x 84,1 cm each)
SUMMA (available in German and English) is my personal balance sheet and summary of the changes under way and my experiences with humans, history, society, art, and economy so far...
The whole series (in English) is online available on a separate web site . Please enjoy!
„Last Supper. Ein Abschiedsmenü in fünf Gängen"
("Last supper - a farewell five course menu")
(2020; series of 31 pieces, 21x14,8cm; catalogue ISBN 978-3-9821890-0-0; 84 pages)
„Das alte Hamburg. Bilder einer vergangenen Epoche"
("The old Hamburg - pictures of a bygone era")
(2020; series of 156 pieces, 21x14,8cm; catalogue ISBN 978-3-9820707-5-9, 160 pages)
A nostalgic but then again utterly surprising tribute to pre-Corona Hamburg.
„Der HEILIGE MARTIN oder vom Kampf der Sehnsucht und Toleranz"
(2020; booklet 21x14,8cm; 40 pages, ISBN 978-3-9820707-3-5)
This booklet is about alcoholism in art, craving and what you can do about it.
(2020; video installation; 3:07 min.; dimensions variable)
From the series "WYSIWYG" (what you see is what you get).
Production assistant: Toshio Tankred Tabbert
(2020; audio installation; 3:56 min.; dimensions variable)
This is a tribute to my "teacher" Joseph Beuys...
„Who will clean up the mess?"
(2019; video installation; 6:40 min.; dimensions variable)
I adore artists like Peter Fleischmann and his movie „Dorotheas Rache“ (1974) or Larry Sultans „The Valley“ (2004). This video is about "pornographic anti-pornos" in the Fleischmann tradition as well as the enormous significance of pornography for the internet and our daily lives. You can find some of the major facts about pornography in the German section of this web site. As a student of Richard Wentworth I keep looking out for situations others usually pay little attention to - so I wondered "Who will clean up the mess?" after the shot. Well, this time it was me.
(2019; edition of 24 pieces; 15x20cm each)
The edition is based on an image I dreamt in exactly the way pictured.
(2019; Videoinstallation; 2:25 Min.; Dimensionen variabel)
This video is inspired by Ludwig Wittgensteins "Philosophical Investigations": "An 'inner process' stands in need of outward criteria" (§ 580) and William S. Burroughs' notion of language as a virus. My favourite language, Italian, is often seen as a series of gestures (over)complicated by words. I'm fascinated by gestures as they can convey meaning "beyond words", adapt to new cultures, reproduce like a virus, mutate or die out.
„Wie man Männer lieben soll"
("How to love men")
(2018-2019; Videoinstallation; 1:07:42 Min.; Dimensionen variabel)
This is not a "manual" but a special tribute to a work of art I deeply admire and I welcome creative, inspiring misunderstandings.
(2019; 25 digital prints; 29x42 cm each; book 76 pages; ISBN 978-3-9820707-9-7)
Michail Alexandrowitsch Bakunin (1814-1876) was one of the leading figures of the anarchist movement. In this book (unfortunately available in German only) I juxtapose some of Bakunin's major texts with some of my recent pictures.
„Fessle Dein Geld“
("Enchain your money")
(2019; video installation; 3:07 min.; dimensions variable)
This piece is about semiosis, blockchain-money, and the possible consequences of all this.
„We own the world“
(2019; print on shirt)
The ultimate brand (i.e. brand of brands) for all those who seek ultimate prestige in the realm of fashion. Premiered at the Ca‘ d‘Oro (i.e. "golden house") in Venice. Because of legal issues you may order the shirt only via the Cypriot branch of my Singaporean holding (overnight express optional at extra cost). If you want it, just e-mail me.
„Schwule Nazis - Zur Ästhetik und Massenpsychologie des Faschismus"
("Gay Nazis - on the aesthetics and mass psychology of fascism")
(2019; coloured digital prints; 29x42 cm each; book 156 pages; ISBN 978-3-9820707-8-0; available in German only)
This series as well as the companion volume tries to investigate one of fascisms most important inherent paradoxes: gay Nazis. By taking into consideration findings from history, mass psychology, sociology, media theory, philosophy, and aesthetics the volume also tries to come to terms with the problem of fascist aesthetics, ongoing traumata caused by the second world war, and tries to explain some of the reasons why fascism is so popular in Germany today.
(Buy it here.)
"Das Leben der anderen - Folge 64 'Der freie Unternehmer'"
("The life of the others - part 64 'The independent entrepreneur'")
(2019; video installation; 3:59 min.; dimensions variable)
This series is inspired by Hermann Brochs trilogy of novels "Die Schlafwandler".
„Bericht zur Lage der Arbeitnehmerschaft am Ende des zweiten Jahrzehnts des 21. Jahrhunderts“
("Report on the employees' situation at the end of the second decade of the 21st century")
(2019; Video Installation; 0:17 Min.; Dimensionen variabel)
This is a sequel to my "Report on the employees' situation at the end of the first decade of the 21st century", 2018.
"Das Leben der anderen - Folge 21 'Die Ich-AG'"
("The life of the others - part 21 'Die Ich-AG'")
(2018-2019; Video Installation; 12:29 Min.; Dimensionen variabel)
This series is inspired by Hermann Brochs trilogy of novels "Die Schlafwandler". "Ich-AG" denotes an unemployed person who becomes self employed ("Me Inc."). Once meant as a subsidy (in the draft of the Hartz Commission), it has meanwhile become a nationwide symbol for a precarious life situation.
„Adolf Hitler weint/Gerhard Schröder weint/Angela Merkel weint/Larry Page weint/Larry Fink weint/Kevin Sneader weint“
("Adolf Hitler cries/Gerhard Schröder cries/Angela Merkel cries/Larry Page cries/Larry Fink cries/Kevin Sneader cries")
(2018 - 2019; digital prints; 20x30 cm each)
I have a dream: For only once in my life I want to see those who rule the our lives honestly regret their crimes against humanity - in the case of Adolf Hitler it's the Holocaust, still traumatizing German society until the present day (even though this topic is taboo in Germany), Gerhard Schröder regretting his social "reforms" called Hartz IV that have also deeply traumatized German society and have cost tens of thousands of lives (including suicides), Angela Merkel is included here for "saving" failed banks, thrusting into unimaginable debts future generations and for abolishing all that was left of what we formerly alled "democracy", Larry Page for a corporate surveillance nightmare brilliantly described by Dave Eggers in his novel "The Circle", Larry Fink as boss of "BlackRock" for destroying this planet for the sake of profits, Kevin Sneader as head of McKinsey as a (today minor) example of "deep state"... By the way: Thanks to the "restructuring" by "members" of McKinsey I lost two of my favourite jobs - one a university and one at a newspaper.
(2018 - 2019; red chalk; 24,5x24,5 cm each)
Who are punters? These fictitious portraits of punters look like... well, maybe just like you and me?
"Bericht zur Lage der Arbeitnehmerschaft am Ende des ersten Jahrzehnts des 21. Jahrhunderts"
("Report on the employees' situation at the end of the first decade of the 21st century")
(2018; video installation; 0:25 min.; dimensions variable)
The toughest movies I know show no blood at all.
(2018; objects made of pocket calendars; parcel string; sealing wax)
A personal attempt of coming to terms with one's own past, securing some traces, trying to get a more precise feeling for the passing of time.
(2018; digital print; dimensions variable)
This piece is about the anti-commercial stance that is essential for extraordinary profits.
(2018; digital print; 20x30 cm)
This work is a response to ethical censorship by some German museum directors and art critics that hold that today a work of art is only acceptable if the artist leads a private life that is "politically correct." However, this does not apply to "classics". In order to secure my artistic freedom I turned myself into a classic. For this projection in two respects I chose "Se ipsum" by Giorgio de Chirico, because he has been one of my "masters" for about 30 years and because he dared to reject "modernism" decades before the term "postmodernism" was even invented.
"Me on the Run 2 - Hetzjagd des inneren Richters"
Have you been able to make peace with your inner judge? If not - will you have enough power to survive the chivvy?
(2018; rubber-stamps; 50x80 mm each)
These rubber-stamps are about the fact that German governments have supported "tax havens" around the world for decades. As according to German law all citizens are equal, these rubber-stamps provide you with a "tax free" certificate for any occasion.
(2018; digital prints; 10x15 cm each)
Piero Manzoni has been one of my leading „masters“ for a very long time. In honour of his birthday this series is an attempt to transpose his „Achromes“ into the digital age by using the first, colourless prints of a printer for digital photographs that come out of the machine whenever the paper and the toner cartridges are changed by the shop assistants. As the original „Achromes“ they are colourless, pure signifier and show no trace of an author whatsover.
(2018; video installation; 3:59 min.; dimensions variable)
Windows have a long and to me still fascinating tradition in art, full of myriads of meaning until the present day. Shot on location at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in June 2018.
(2018; Performance and 5 digital prints; 20 x 30 cm each)
This performance was a public experiment based on the kind of illegal selling points for flowers you can frequently find along German roads that traditionally use hand made ads. It was about today‘s hypocrisy about drugs.
„Der Fels in der Brandung“
("Rock in the Surf")
(2018; video installation, 00:35 min., dimenstions variable)
This piece is about performing misery, the rules of performance and the paradox that we live in a mediated world in which production or staging has replaced "reality".
„Adolf Hitler weint/Gerhard Schröder weint/Angela Merkel weint/Larry Page weint/Larry Fink weint“
("Adolf Hitler cries/Gerhard Schröder cries/Angela Merkel cries/Larry Page cries/Larry Fink cries")
(2018; digital prints; 20x30 cm each)
This series is about my heartly felt wish that politicians should honestly regret their crimes. Influenced by Ernst Jünger's philosophy of history I focused on the three worst cases in recent German history along with two examples of those global economic leaders (Larry Page and Larry Fink) that turn our daily lives into hell. See the German version of this web site for a full explanation of the crimes of Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel that have traumatized the majority of Germans in addition to Hitler's crimes up to the present day...
(2018; series of 3 objects; wood, glas, metall, photography, gauze bandage, blood; 20x20x9 cm each)
Padre Pio has been one of the most famous saints in Italy and some of his relics were also on display in the United States in 2018. Recent biographies call him a trickster and a fascist. However, his words still provide solace and power to people throughout the world - which I appreciate a lot. As a buddhist I'm deeply fascinated by this ambivalent ("con") "artist" and "performer". I adore Padre Pio especially for his courage to bring back wonder to a rational, technical world.
"Deutschland Sommermärchen" ("Germany - A Midsummernight's tale")
(2018; digital print;
Edward Hopper once said the basic aim of an artist is „to reveal the ‚truth‘ of everyday life and the interior life of ordinary people“. In this sense to me this is Germany in a nutshell.
(2018; video installation and performance; 1:24 min.; dimensions variable)
During this performance I destroy(ed) money. The piece is about new types of money like "bitcoin" and gives participants the opportunity to find out what it feels like to live without "old fashioned" sorts of money, especially as state control sooner or later wants to abolish the type of money destroyed here. But it is also about exploring the emotional ties we might have with money in general - if I destroy my money like this, do I feel angry, frightened, sad - or free? And this piece is also about aesthetics. Isn't destroyed money more beautiful than "average" money?
"Bei gleichwertiger Eignung"
(2018; 10 digital prints; 20x30 cm each)
In Germany the law demands certain forms of "positive discrimation", especially when it comes to get a job in the public sector. The only way to get a job despite these laws is to change your sex or faking your cultural background according to the job offer. This is how to do it...
(2018; 54 digital prints; 15x15 cm each)
The wealth in ancient Rome depended on average on the work of 6 slaves... today, wealth in my society depends on slave-like labour of about 29 people in countries that are much poorer than mine. The internet makes it easy to find some of those people - but obviously we, the majority of slavemasters, don't seem to care. So creating these portraits from publicly available informations is not only about giving modern slavery a human face, but this series is also about ignoring the hardship of other people. The complete series is available here:
(2017; video installation and performance; 1:44 min.; dimensions variable)
This piece refers not only to Aristotle's notion of "κάθαρσις", but uses his notion of purgation of emotions in accordance to the teachings of Wilhelm Reich and Norbert Elias, giving the participants of the performance the chance to act out their suppressed emotions in a safe context provided by art - providing participants with an opportunity to experience how they would feel without the force to suppress basic emotions as is demanded by today's society.
"Das Telefon ist der Tod"
("The telephone is death")
(2017; video installation; 0:49 min.; dimensions variable)
Sebastián Marroquín aka Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, son of Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, said in 2017 an interview about his father: "He's always told me: The telephone is death. He said that literally."
Dedicated to my "teachers" Dara Birnbaum and Harun Faroqui.
"Joseph Beuys spielt Final Fantasy IV"
("Joseph Beuys plays Final Fantasy IV")
(2017; video installation; 2:33 min.; dimensions variable)
Joseph Beuys is among my most important "teachers". In this peace I try to find out, whether certain types of computer games could exemplify his definition of "sozialer Wärmeplastik" and what he would comment on today's gaming culture. Has the "digital revolution" so far prevented the "real" revolution in Beuys' terms? Integrating Beuys TV-practice with Final Fantasy IV expresses my strong desire for a society that would allow people to take part in building and changing our society as easily as it is today to take part in an online computer game.
"Der Künstler als Täter" A short manifesto promoting the freedom of art
I'm very grateful that I was given the opportunity to read out my manifesto for the freedom of art at documenta 14. You can find it here (in German): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRIl7K1-ulA
"Jotalambda – Aesthetic rearrangement of the Alphabet"
(2017; Jotalambda and print edition 60 x 80 cm)
Studying or teaching arts, media theory, design theory, art history, cultural philosophy and aesthetics includes dealing with some basic questions like the origin of letters and the alphabet. According to my investigations there have been some noteworthy alternatives to today's alphabet - sometimes because users wanted to improve their keyboards (France, Italy), incorporate non-european languages (Sanskrit, Kana), adopted the morse code, „start from both ends“, homeomorphism, homotopy, or grouping letters together by similarity.
This rearrangement is based solely on aesthetic criteria, however not on „classic“ aesthetic criteria like harmony, proportion and the like, but concentrating on the physical act of writing and conceiving letters as having some kind of „body“ (following Franz Erhard Walthers lead).
The „Jotalambda“ thus starts with a basic line that cannot be simplified (the large Jota) and then progresses according to a calligraphic „writing logic“. On the one hand the progression of letters appears like getting more complex by referring to earlier elements, on the other hand the new order proceeds „rhizomatic“ or at times „morphes“ one element into the next. After all the Jotalambda is a formal development series based on the similarity of individual parts of the letters following each other while taking into account the „flow“ of writing to create an „inner logic“ in the progression of the letters.
(2017; performance and print edition 60 x 80 cm)
It feels great to be part of the jet set of the art world, to have the impression to be part of the "Champions League" of art, lots of people see your works, if you're lucky you'll be filthy rich as well... on the other hand there are numerous artists showing their works throughout the world for nothing. Many art traders lament about the enormous number of art fairs - and the artists always have to come up with brand new and exciting stuff, of course. But is this what art is really about or what art should be about? I don't think so...
In this Edition you see me NOT flying to: Sharjah Biennale, Art Basel Hongkong, CI-Contemporary Istanbul, Dallas Art Fair, Athens Biennale, Taipeh Biennale, Sao Paolo Biennale, Poppositions Brüssel, Arakkale Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Katmandu Triennale, World Art Dubai, Desert X Palm Springs, Art Toronto, Setouchi Biennale, Frieze London, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Yinchuan Biennale, Honolulo Biennale, Miart Mailand, Tefaf Maastricht, Aichi Triennale, Biennale Cuenca, Manif D'Art Quèbec, Drawing Biennale London, Aichi Triennale, Artexpo New York, Aros Triennale Aarhus, Art Fair Tokyo.
"Let's walk with dreams"
(2017; Performance and ideo installation; dimensions variable)
Dedicated to Tokios' hiphop-punk band "Dragon Ash" this video is a reference of the burning of books in Nazi-Germany and an archaic protest against surveillance and its mainly invisible structures.
("Tankred's love mobile")
(Hamburg, Kottwitzstraße, 2017/09/09 - 2017/09/10, Berlin, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, 2017/09/16, Hamburg, Hein-Hoyer-Straße, 2017/09/23)
From time to time I’ll provide you at special places with a free campervan
to enjoy love. Discrete, easy-going, unobserved and without any moral
obligations, but limited to only a few hours.
The campervan is simple, but clean and fully functional with shower,
toilet etc. Be yourself! Just dare it...
Find all tour infos and booking on http://tankreds-liebesmobil.de.tl
(2017; installation; dimensions variable)
I love to study art from past centuries - “Fun” is my version of a “memento mori”: An empty shop filled with colourful balloons up to the roof that accompany the passersby for about 8 weeks. People can watch the balloons’ decay on a daily basis until the balloons are completely shrivelled. So far installations are scheduled in Hamburg, Berlin, and Milan.
(Billboard installation; Berlin, Voßstraße, 2017/09/19 - 2017/09/29)
I was lucky enough to enjoy a concert by “Frankie goes to Hollywood” in London many years ago. The band’s merchandise included shirts saying “Frankie says: Relax” etc. that were all the rage at the time. During Germany’s next general election I will post some ostracized messages next to the Bundestag that will remind the passersby of some simple but unpleasant truths reading “Tankred says: Enjoy censorship”, “Tankred says: Experience mass unemployment”, and “Tankred says: Taboo the future”.
"Mirror (Mia Gioconda)"
(2016-2017; Object: shattered mirror, display dummy, shoes, niqab, khimar, socks)
This work is one of these intuitive "visions" that suddenly come up in my mind, like the video installation "eyeball". Basically it remains a mystery to me. Somehow, however, it reminded me of my encounter with Prof. Edward Wadie Said while I was a student. He taught me a lot about "orientalism", the projections going along with it and also about the failure of these projections in real life.
(2016; digital prints on cardboard; 90 x 120 cm each)
In the year 42 exiled Lucius Annäus Seneca consoled his family by telling them that mankind was in constant movement and that new towns, nations, and people are born all the time. According to him everything must mingle and there are hardly any indigenous people in the long run. But what does it mean to appropriate a new, unknown culture, how can I become a part of the culture I escaped to, how do I deal with the fact that it is pure fortune into which culture I was born? On the other hand: How does a culture deal with “being appropriated”, the change of meaning of it’s cultural symbols that might be reduced in their meaning to nothing but their materiality.
(2016; applied object)
This object allows you to get rid of emotions you don’t want to have any more: frustration, anger, fear, depression, lovesickniss... but don’t forget to do away with envy, resentment, and hate as well. First public appearance at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, October 2016.
Video "Palimpsest - a study on contemporary cultural memory"
(2016; video installation; 0:41 min.; dimensions variable)
This video was made and published on 9/11/2016 and is about pictures in your head that won't go away.
Series “The Oligs II”
(2016; digital prints on cardboard; 85 x 110 cm each)
This ten piece series formally is about the materiality of analog pictures made visible by their digital transformation while dealing with found footage on the entanglements of organized crime, economy, politics, and the military in early 1992 in Italy (Italy used to be my second home for more than 20 years). I was interested in the strategies of disguise by staging information, scandals, and/or people, the atmosphere and feeling at the center of oligarchy taking advantage of the fact that those oligarchs could be identified only recently by historical research. How does it feel to be one of them? How does it feel to be fobbed by powerless media?
Video “Lost Moments”
(2014 - 2016; video installation; 5:52 min.; dimensions variable)
Online at: https://youtu.be/lENk7lYx0mE
A Zen-inspired video: Is there something like a site-specific memory?
Is there a (spiritual) place where our memories go after the moment we want to remember has gone? Are the memories (that once were obviously very significant for those persons who once took these pictures) really lost forever after burning the traces of these individual, albeit anonymous moments? Listen to your feelings...
(2016; initiative including local citizens)
This project was developed for a competition at “Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst Berlin”. It was about connecting “Pampa” (run down outskirts) with “Mitte” (center). However, the relation between the almost powerless “Pampa” and the almost almighty “Mitte” is characterized by a number of conflicts, among which is gentrification,
injustice, and mutual misunderstanding. Instead of illustrating theories or discourses my project tried to connect “Pampa” and “Mitte” by refering to the ancient “Ariadne” myth. Using a cotton thread of 1,5 mm in diameter and taking a walk of approximately three and a half hours the project intended to directly connect “Pampa” and “Mitte” by the physical experience of moving from one area to the other, experiencing the change in cityscape, people, atmosphere etc. Presented at “Mitte in der Pampa - Kunst im Untergrund” at Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin, 2016/07/08 - 2016/09/10.
(2016; billboard installation; 59,4 x 84,1 cm each)
The decline of democracy and the powerlessness towards the conglomerate of politics and economy hurt - however, numbers are boring, who cares what they might mean? 47 billions, 2,5 millions, +2,75%... increase in national debt, the numbers of refugees, cuts in the budget of cultural work, increase in politicians salaries?
We don’t grasp the contexts, details are too troublesome, we don’t have the time and/or simply don’t care. So the numbers just pass by, we remain without a clue, like most of the involuntary audience of these billboards. But what we miss out on is much more than just numbers.
First public appearance at Kunsthalle Hamburg, May 2016.
Video "Art is sold out"
(2016; video installation; 4:54 min.; dimensions variable)
Art's sell-off has finally come to an end.
(2016; coin; diameter 30 mm; silver plated copper; 100 pieces)
Fame is the art world's currency. In many cases the artist's fame is more important than the quality of the works. Buy fame from my shop.
Art+Research Project "Bug-proof Mobile Spaces"
This is a real life experiment dealing with the question of how much freedom a surveillance society can tolerate. A bug-proof mobile container (approx. 3x3x2 metres) will be open around the clock to the public on busy places for a limited period of time (about a week). Me and my assistants will collect all the data around this event: What will happen, how authorities will react, what people will make of it etc. A professionell sweep-team will control the container on a regular basis. All the information gathered will be a fragmented but very personal portrait of our time.
Series "They call it work"
(2015; digiprints, dimensions variable)
A series on the contrasts between the artist's and "normal" work. The artist on the one hand is more often than not extremely poor, sometimes up to the point of getting crazy and hating art, on the other hand artists usually do not know self-alienation, heteronomy, or the feeling, that their work is somehow meaningless. The series is also about the change of what we today understand when using the term "work". For more pictures please see the "Kunst" section of this web site.
Edition "German flag"
(2015; 15 flags 90 x 150 cm; 1000 stickers 6 x 8 cm)
In autumn 2015 a lot of "public relation" across all media was generated by the German government in order to establish a pro refugee attitude among the German population although the government has had no convincing concept how to manage the refugee crisis. Any criticism has been ostracized. Thus the majority of Germans do not dare to think about long term consequences. So this edition wants to ask ostracized questions by causing a "clash" of discourses. Both items are available in my shop.
Video „Soften up“
(2015; video installation; 2:01 min.; dimensions variable)
This video is about today's social imperatives.
Series "Towards a Typology of Leaf Blowers"
(2015; digiprints, dimensions variable)
This is a series on leaf blowers from a biological point of view with tongue in cheek. For more pictures please see the "Kunst" section of this web site.
Edition "Reality Headset"
(2015; Object ca. 19 x 7 x 6,5 cm; 75 pieces)
When I began studying media sciences virtual reality was all the rage, unfortunately, the virtual reality headsets of those days made me sick. Today a new generation of developers offers exciting new gadgets and maybe this time virtual reality will become "the next big thing".
My "Reality Headset" on the contrary will enable you to experience reality directly, unmediated, unfiltered, undistorted, unprotected and free of propaganda and ideology. Use it as a (mental) training tool. Do you dare to experience the ultimate adventure - i.e. reality as it is? Then buy it from my shop.
Series "Me on the run"
(2015; digiprints, dimensions variable)
Here you can see me on the run - is there anything you are trying to run away from?
(Since 2015; digiprints; dimensions variabel)
As Heinrich von Kleist has it in his essay "Über das Marionettentheater" true beauty can only unfold unconsciously. Based on a bet I also tried to prove that the women on the streets of Hamburg are much more beautiful than those participating in Germany's casting shows.
Video „Eternity ∞“
(2015; video installation; 1:58 min.; dimensions variable)
Based on a strange dream this video is an invitation to a thought experiment: What if „eternity“ was cyclical?
Sounds like a paradox? To my mind it is a paradox, however, having studied the ways paradoxes work in the writings of Oscar Wilde and having studied the works of Franz Erhard Walther I learned to appreciate the power of paradoxes to free your mind. My way to transform the chosen paradox into a work of art, however, does not imply the existence of an unmoved mover.
Series "Boundaries of Civilization"
(Since 2015; digiprints; dimensions variable)
This series is about a contrast that I experience on a daily basis: On the one hand our state authority trying to expand its power and control to all areas of life, executing more or less complete surveillance, on the other hand the striking powerlessness of the very same state authority over the fringes of society. There you can observe not only the disappearance of state control but also the boundaries of civilization within this very society. Following a lead of my "master" Richard Wentworth I turn to the neglected areas right before my doorstep as in our "global village" these areas have become some of the most exotic places on earth. See the "Kunst"-section of this web site for more pictures of this series.
Series "Pictures I've never done"
(Since 2015; black pen on paper; 29,7 x 42 cm)
In this series I describe photographs that I regret I couldn't take - partly because the moments I wanted to frame passed by too quickly or because it was technically impossible. I hope the handwritten texts will be able to create a kind of substitute for these pictures in the heads of the readers.
Series "Hurenherzen" (Hustlers' Hearts")
(Since 2015; oil pastel on paper; 29,7 x 42 cm)
Can't buy me love... so they say. Hamburg has many red light districts and I asked some hustlers (or sex workers as they are now called in politically correct "Neusprech"/new speech) to sketch a red heart in my sketch book. Like my video on para-social interaction this series is about the human being and the emotions behind the social role (in this case of a hustler) as well as the psychological projections and emotional needs of those guys paying for "love".
Red, handmade hustlers' hearts represent the whole range of possible meanings in this context full of paradoxes, tensions, and intersections: The hearts may represent an abstract symbol, a cliché without content and/or emotions or might even be a symbol of real, true love. Furthermore, the hearts sketched by the hustlers are as individual as the persons who sketched them and these women taught me a lot about men. See the "Kunst"-section of this web site for more pictures of this series.
Series "Eure Armut kotzt mich an" ("Your poverty makes me puke")
(2015; video installation; 1:54 min. and 4 digiprints; dimensions variable)
In this series I hold a sign reading "Your poverty makes me puke". The series is about the relativity of wealth, Germany's competitive society and its resulting mix of pressure and compulsion to display your "self", and the social segregation and gentrification going along with all that. See the "Kunst"-section of this web site for more pictures of this series.
(Since 2015; digiprints; dimensions variable)
The place inside our car is a place where intimacy and public space intertwine. Sitting in my car I took these pictures of drivers next to me. These pictures portrait the "inhabitants" of these private-public spaces and at the same time document the changes that the sphere of privacy has experienced for the last two decades since I started researching the field. See the "Kunst"-section of this web site for more pictures of this series.
Video "The sky above my head"
(2015; video installation; 2:58 min.; dimensions variable)
Influenced by my "heroes" like Steve Mann, Stelarc, Ottmar Hörl, and Franz Erhard Walther I did this experimental video in which a camera attached to my head replaced the "third eye" that I wish I had to see the space above me.
Series "Tagediebe" ("Dawdlers")
(Since 2015; digiprints; dimensions variable)
In Germany artists are frequently called dawdlers so I tried to find more about dawdlers. Some of the results: Germany is an achievement-oriented society lacking about 10 to 11 million jobs. Jobless people are harassed in an inhumane way. So the dawdlers I met during my artistic research on the one hand were broken, ashamed persons, on the other hand I met persons that defy Germany's official neoliberal attitude by focusing on hanging around, meeting friends, caring for their families or just aiming at self-fulfillment. See more pictures of this series in the "Kunst"-section of this site and see also my video "Epochenschwellen" on this and related topics.
Video "Liebt eure Kanaken" ("Love your wogs")
(2015; video installation; 1:22 min.; dimensions variable)
In this video you can see me holding a sign reading "Love your wogs" in front of a shop selling Nazi-clothing in a suburb of Hamburg. In this part of town you can also find a section of the right-wing "National Resistance". There is a left-wing citizens' initiative against the shop, demonstrating against it in front of the shop and I provoke a clash of discourses having in mind Nietzsches essay "Über Lüge und Wahrheit im außermoralischen Sinne" dealing with the life-lies we cannot live without as well as a meeting with the late Prof. Edward W. Said who was at the time asked by a fellow student whether a tolerant society was allowed to force tolerance upon those who stubbornly refuse to be tolerant... Ironically, both sides have made their profit with the conflict: The shop selling anti-wog clothes and the citizens' initiative getting a lot of cash from prizes they won in support for their dedication.
Series "The Adventures of Johnny the Camera"
(Since 2015; digiprints; dimensions variable)
"Johnny the Camera" is an average, cheap digital camera with a tripod as its "body". Johnny's best friends are the dead painters he met while exploring the book shelf of his owner. Johnny loves to be a camera so he strolls around and takes pictures all on his own. His owner meanwhile takes pictures of Johnny taking pictures. You finally get two versions of identical events, shot at the same time and place and you are invited to compare both versions of "reality" and their "ways of worldmaking".
See the "Kunst"-section of this web site for more pictures of this series.
Series "Things along the way"
(Since 2015; digiprints and found objects; dimensions variable)
This series consists of things I found along the way and the pictures I took of the places where I found these objects. On the one hand I'm fascinated by the stories that come to the spectators' minds when they see the installation. On the other hand, thus this series is also about the "clash" between "object" or "original" and its image, our "ways of worldmaking", rethinking "simulacra", "contextualizing" and "recontextualizing", and the like.
Series "Colours of Life"
(2015; digiprints; 29,7x42cm)
This series of 12 pieces explores how we design the world we live in and whether we are or should be satisfied with these designs. The series isolates printer's marks that can be found all around us on all kinds of mass manufactured products as they are a reference for the design of our surroundings. Printer's marks are a sort of autonomous bridge between real life and the process of creating and at the same time representing the tensions between standardization and creativity. Furthermore I wanted to focus on the neglected beauty of printer's marks that usually only serve as an instrument without any appreciation of their aesthetic qualities. (See more of this series in the German section of this site.)
Detail ("Colours of Life No.11")
"Colours of Life 1"
(2015; video installation; 5:07 min.; dimensions variable)
Another Zen-inspired video trying to convey a feeling of oneness, relaxation etc.
Video "Post-Journalismus: Schwundstufe Null"
(2015; video installation; 0:30 min.; dimensions variable)
This video is about the terrible downfall of German journalism for the sake of making more profit.
(2015; video installation; 2:02 min.; dimensions variable)
Onemillioneighthundredfourteenthousandfivehundredninetyseven inhabitants counted my hometown Hamburg at the time I shot this video - including directly neighbouring towns the number should amount to three million. This video is not about how or where to find a suitable partner, but about the hard to describe, very paradoxical feeling (maybe like cold, liquid chrome) that loneliness in a town of millions of citizens will cause when searching for Mr or Mrs „Right.“ 3 million people - but where are YOU? I was right here...
Video "Dawn Of An Epoch"
(2015; video installation; 11:28 min.; dimensions variable)
This video merges different types of art and science (painting, photography, performance, sociology, political science) in order to provide a sensuous approach for understanding an important dawn of an epoch we've been experiencing and that currently keeps affecting more and more people, at least in industrialized countries. I guess that this dawn of an epoch will cause many, many more important changes in our lives in the future. The quoted performance "Tokyo gagaga" is by Sono Sion, an artist and director I admire a lot. The video also quotes a presentation given by German expert Adrienne Goehler at a symposium on unconditional basic income in Hamburg.
(2015; video installation; 4:54 min.; dimensions variable)
A zen-inspired video that invites you to associate and meditate - based on a dream and the meaning of the circle as a symbol in Zen-Buddhism. Please enjoy...
Video "My Sluts - A Study in para-social Interaction"
(2015; video installation; 3:56 min.; dimensions variable)
Thanks to Joshua Meyrowitz I came across Horton and Wohl's concept of "para-social interaction" between the persons in front of and those on the screen: „They argue that altough the relationship is mediated, it psychologically resembles face-to-face interaction. Viewers come to feel they >>know<< the people they >>meet<< on television in the same way they know their friends and associates. In fact, many viewers begin to believe that they know and understand a performer better than all the other viewers do. Paradoxically, the para-social performer is able to establish >>intimacy with millions.<< […] For many viewers, soap opera and other television characters are real people to whom they can turn for inspiration and advice.“ Meyrowitz pointed out (thirty years ago!) that „overall evolutionary trend, even within each type of medium, toward shrinking of the differences between live and mediated encounters.“ (Meyrowitz, Joshua (1986): No Sense of Place. The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior. Oxford, 119, 121.)
Back then I watched an obviously sane but very lonely woman talking to a "talking head" like he was a real person and from that moment on I've been convinced of that concept - long before the internet became commonplace - and I've witnessed hundreds of examples of "para-social interaction" ever since.
In my video I focus on porn actresses because they deliberately establish intimacy with millions through the internet as they try to blur the borderline between mediated and face-to-face interaction and as many of them pretend to convey "authentic" feelings - in addition to the fact that they are a "substitute" for many members of their audience establishing a very intimate relationship.
As an artist I am interested in a twist of perspectives: I don't care too much about the "users" but I concentrate on the "performers" of para-social interactions. My work searches for the "real" person "behind" the "performer" and I wonder if the "real" person will ever "shine through" occasionally...
Sound installation "Sounds of unemployment"
(2015; 22:07 min.; dimensions variable)
This sound installation was inspired by Horst Bote, a close friend of mine, a teacher of English and Latin, who couldn't escape unemployment in Germany due to budget cuts in the German educational system. He fell in love with a Japanese woman, married, and finally emigrated to Japan where he found a job as a teacher of English. His German book on his time as an employed became quite notorious over here in Germany. Once a year he still visits his Hamburg family and friends and during his last visit we talked a lot about his past experiences in Germany compared to his present life in Japan - and this is how this sound installation came about. Thanx a lot Hotte - domo arigato gozaimasu!
Video "Hamburg weiter vorn"
(2015; video installation; 3:40 min.; dimensions variable)
This video is about Hamburg's recent political developments trying to point out the actual "Big Brother"-attitude of German politicians and bureaucrats.
"Se ipsum II"
(2015; digiprint; 60 x 40 cm)
This is the second work entitled "Se ipsum" (the first one dates back to 1990). Despite all similarities 25 years after this work invites the spectators to compare what has changed so far - on the outside, the inside, regarding attitudes and chosen media. (In the picture I hold a copy of "Der Künstler und sein Bild der Welt" which means "the artist and his world view.")
Furthermore this work focuses on the topic of "artist as perpetrator" in the sense of "doer", but also in the sense of "culprit" - and thus this work is finally about the freedom of art. To me it seems that freedom of art is something absolute, i.e. it cannot be partial or "split", it exists only as something absolute or not at all. Freedom of art is "born" in the moment of creating art. If the artist creates art in a state of freedom he is responsible to no one but his art. Thus the artist and his work (not necessarily but) easily becomes subject to tensions between his work and society, laws, widely accepted fashions, mainstream attitudes etc. As history has taught us censorship will not work in the long run. Once the work of art is "born" it will survive in the heads and hearts of the spectators, or go underground etc. - no matter whether the work's creator is imprisoned or killed. Being absolutely independent the artist will always be suspicious to society and all those executing power. So make no mistake: No one has to take to the streets to demonstrate for the freedom of art, but at the same time no one will ever be able to control art. However: "Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same" as Ludwig Wittgenstein once correctly remarked in his "Tractatus" and therefore the artist's attitude, point of view, feelings, knowledge etc. make for his individual world view that determines his personal approach in the realm of the freedom of art.
Edition "Speranza forte"
(2014; boxes containing nothing but hope; 10,5 x 6 x 2 cm)
We live in times of war, terrorism, economic crisis and epidemics - I hope that hope will help a little so I put as much hope as I could into these boxes. Get it from my shop, but don't abuse it...
Edition "Dust coins"
(2014; handmade coins from dust; 49mm diameter; 90 pieces in boxes)
As a Zen-based artist and a „disciple“ of Piero Manzoni this is my ultimate statement on the values of today‘s capitalism. During my lifetime I‘ve observed communism imploding and capitalism going bust as well as the incredible self-destruction of capitalistic „values.“ Thus I find it hard to believe that without mercy global capitalism still expects us as consumers and employees to share its neo-liberal, materialistic values that keep on destroying the foundations of our private lives as well as our planet. As a Zen-artist I can‘t help to point out directly the illusory nature of these capitalistic values by showing what they are really „worth.“
At the same time my dust coins are a perfect object for speculation and an extreme example of a value-added chain. As a true disciple of Piero Manzoni I „feed“ the art market at the same time in an ironic manner: Yes, these dust coins are an excellent means of speculation, the current amount of issue is one thousand Euros and the possible increase in value is much higher than the expected increase in value of any other store of value or form of investment currently available as the possibly increase of value of these dust coins is exponential.
In his days Manzoni sold ninety pieces of „artist‘s shit“ as an ironic statement on the diminishing gold standard of the US-Dollar for the equivalent amount of gold - my dust coins having the size of the former double gold thaler on the contrary symbolically transform gold into dust while promising to exceed the value of their golden equivalents.
(2014; video installation; 0:33 min.; dimensions variable)
This video is not suitable for minors and about the sudden appearance of tenderness in a highly unlikely situation.
Series "Death places - Media vita in morte sumus"
(2014; digiprints; dimensions variable)
A difficult topic indeed, but death has made itself manifest in the area I live even though death is widely ignored in an experience society. Death is always around us - media vita in morte sumus - but most of the time the presence of death is more or less invisible. I chose to take pictures of these death places some time after the deadly accidents or murders happened. Once again banal, interchangeable places my pictures want to point at the constant, invisible presence of death. Dedicated to Sarah and all the others, who are so terribly missed by so many...
Series "Virtual Shadows"
(2014; digiprints; dimensions variable)
This series is about the merging of real life and virtual realities. The featured symbol marks a borderline between real life and virtuality. For some time I've been fascinated by the works of Hilary Putnam, Oswald Wiener, Philip K. Dick, or William Gibson who each found their own way of answering the question how we can be sure that we are no virtual entities. In some of these works there is a moment of doubt, an error within the "system" revealing the simulation. My "virtual shadows" try to mock such an error within the "system" in real life, trying to stun the public and make them think about the "reality of reality"...
(2014; video installation; 2:36 min.; dimensions variable)
This is the second part of my „Zen-TV“ videos, this time inspired by my series „Virtual Shadows“. The videos are about the merging of real life and virtual realities - a kind of „Zen-TV“ for the age of virtuality. One video is made from a more orthodox Zen perspective (silent flavour), the other („urban flavour“) is made from a more western-urban perspective. With some luck they will make you feel a kind of „alert trance“.
Series "The aesthetics of violence"
(since 2010; digiprints; dimensions variable)
I despise violence, but you can't deny its aesthetic qualities. Sometimes you can find something "elemental" in the sense of Ernst Jünger...
"Aesthetics of violence #1" (2010)
"Iconology of a burned out capitalism" (2014)
Series "Taking pictures of taking pictures"
(Since 2014; digiprints; dimensions variable)
This series is about the magic that seems to take place in the act of taking pictures:
(2014; digiprints; dimensions variable)
This series documents the war among codes and against codes in the urban space and also documents the urban "showroom" and its temporary acts of creativity. It is also about "push media" in the age of virtual realities.
Series "The immortality of art"
(2014; digiprints; dimensions variable)
Most artists desire some kind of immortality. Some of us are lucky enough - they find some kind of immortality in museums, collections or in the hearts of other people. And here are some of the others:
(2014; video installation; 2:36 min.; dimensions variable)
Oh, no, no - it doesn‘t rain THAT much in Hamburg... anyway, sometimes the rain really shows a tremendous beauty making it easy for us to feel oneness with the world around us watching the rain fall.
(2014; video installation; 2:36 min.; dimensions variable)
; you can find an uncensored version here: https://myspace.com/tankred.tabbert.art
This video features a selection of my "personal heroes" - at some point in my life their words, works or deeds inspired me so much my life took a brand new turn. Maybe you will find some of them inspiring, too... There is only one heroine among them, however she was even more inspiring to me as all the rest of the "boys".
Series "The will to art"
(2014; digiprints; dimensions variable)
To me it seems that human beings are truly free only when playing or in the realm of art - and sometimes I find some traces of a kind of human "art instinct", spontaneously and unexpectedly:
"The life of the others"
(2014; video installation; 1:56 min.; dimensions variable)
This video was inspired by the final novel of Hermann Broch's trilogy "The Sleepwalkers": "Die Haustore sind wie schwarze Löcher. In einem steht, an die Tür gedrückt, ein Liebespaar, aus einem andern löst sich ein Hund und läuft auf drei Beinen die Straße hinauf; an der Ecke verschwindet er. Hinter manchen Fenstern brennt noch spärliches Licht, - was aber geht hinter den unbeleuchteten vor?"
Like Broch I'd like to know in that kind of situation the personal history of the people I encounter in such situations, although I'm afraid that their life stories might bore or even scare me. Thus the spectators and I have no choice but to fantasise the unknown biographical backgrounds with the help of the traces of life we can find. However, as a result we get stories in a fictional "limbo" between reality and fiction that I prefer to (sometimes banal) reality because it opens our eyes for the "essential truths" of life. The title of the series is an allusion to a movie I'd like to recommend as I went about my work with the same kind of empathy for my "victims" as the main character in the movie of the same title.
If you are interested in a documentary approach to this topic I'd like to recommend a movie called "24h Berlin - Ein Tag im Leben". Like Döblin or Joyce in literature this film tries to portray 24 hours in the "life" of Berlin (the film was shot in 2008). You'll learn a lot from a sociological point of view about contemporary German society, but you will also find out the limits of documentaries as even the most "authentic" documentary cannot do without at least some fictional elements in its structure, "self-display" of the observed persons, etc. So Broch's approach is still a great starting point for me.
Along with the video comes a series of photographs:
"The life of things"
(2014; video installation; 3:05 min.; dimensions variable)
„The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are.“ Philip K. Dick said in 1969 in his novel „Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“. This video was inspired by his novel and may give you a good impression of the strange, ambiguous feeling of perceiving the life of unliving objects he was thinking about.
"Next week's lottery numbers"
(2014; video installation; 0:26 min.; dimensions variable)
A "viral" video that really lets you know next week's lottery numbers (German lottery). Don't thank me - it's all right with me if you just watch out for what happens inside of you as soon as you know the numbers...
(2014; video installation; 5:09 min.; dimensions variable)
A Zen-inspired video. Just listen - and nothing else. Try to hear the details of the rhythm and the developing sounds, find out the differences in what seems a mere repetition at first glance.
Series "Mispurchases (pornography of consumerism)"
(2014; Digiprints; 10 x 15 cm)
A 43-part series on mispurchases, partly ironical but also a kind of field study and archive of contemporary consumer culture. For me these pictures of mispurchases have a lot in common with pornography as these pictures desperately want to sell you something, try to make you want it by triggering your emotions and inner drives, pretend to show everything within a deliberately designed image, and also show some kind of intimacy but accidentally, i.e. without intention.
These pictures have the potential to broaden the spectators‘ idea of what it really means to live within a consumer culture. Today‘s variety of products is hard to believe. Mispurchases on the other hand also signify the failure of consumerism in a deeply tragic way. These pictures of mispurchases are the catharsis of this failure and re-introduce the unwanted purchased goods into the cycle of consumption.
Series "Party People"
(2014; digital prints; 44,5 x 58,5 cm each)
A party with 3 DJs on 3 floors, until the early hours of the morning - but to me the magic moment is not only the exstasy on the dancefloor but even more the moment when the music is turned off... the party is over, dreams are broken, the brutality of reality is back, pictures in my head and in front of my eyes begin to blur, everything is dirty and out of order - but this moment to me is also a kind of rebirth with its own chaotic beauty.
(2014; video installation; 2:45 min.; dimensions variable)
The scenery reminded me of a flash-video called "Autobahn" by one of my favorite bands "Kraftwerk". Furthermore, in my eyes the German "Autobahn" is an epitome of German mentality and aesthetics. Watch the video here
(2014; video installation; 1:58 min.; dimensions variable)
This video is a „counterpart“ to my „Autobahn“-video. In my eyes the German „Autobahn“ is an epitome not only of German mentality and aesthetics, but also a symbol of a certain global set of believes, attitudes, and a philosophy of life that keeps transforming our planet. With its striking contrast between sight and sound „Un-Autobahn“ on the contrary will provide you with the opportunity to experience an everday situation in a paradoxical manner, freeing new modes of perception that will make you feel a Zen-like „emptiness.“
"Über den Schatten springen" (Changing my spots)
(2014; video installation; 0:53 min.; dimensions variable)
In this short video you can see my jumping and leaving my own shadow. There is a german proverb that roughly means "a leopard cannot change its spots" which could be literally translated as you cannot leave your own shadow (or jump across your own shadow). This work was a contribution for an exhibition about shadows in Hamburg in 2014.
Series "Deutschlands Wirtschaftsaufschwung 2014"
(Germany's economic upturn 2014)
(2014 digital prints; 10 x 15 cm each)
O.k., this is anti-propaganda: At home and abroad mass media is full of success stories about Germany's economic upturn. For the majority of Germans this is a LIE and has nothing to do with their daily humdrum of life!
I had a closer look at my neighbourhood in the southeast of Hamburg, within a distance of only 10 kilometers from my home I took the following images...
You can also find a "viral" video on my Youtube channel:
and there are two posters you can buy in my shop (44,5 x 58,5cm):
And this is what the poster looks like in the context of "minimally invasive art":
In my shop you can find a free e-brochure containing the whole series.
"One Minute Walk" (Winter)
(2014; video installation; 1:07 min.; dimensions variable)
"One Minute Walk" (Spring)
(2014; video installation; 1:06 min.; dimensions variable)
My "One Minute Walk"-Series corresponds to the changing of the seasons and is inspired by Zen-style contemporary art. You will find the other parts of the series in the German section of this site.
(2013; dust on paper; 17 x 12 cm)
Contrary to Erwin Wurm's early squared dust-pieces that I love and that disappeared from the pavement soon after taking a picture my dust-piece is based on the paradoxical as well as striking effect of turning something ephemeral into something permanent. In addition to this the meaning of the word is identical with the "word" itself and of course there is an ironic twist to it regarding that many works of art and institutions in the world of art intend to give some kind of "immortality" to certain selected artists and collectors.
(2013; installation; digital prints; 17x12,5 cm each)
Reading Goethe's Italian Journey I found out that I also, like Goethe, admire Christoph Heinrich Kniep and a certain head of a Medusa, which made me take up my studies of Medusa once again. This Medusa "reflects" on herself / her self instead of being mirrored by the shield of her conqueror.
(2013; video installation; 5:08 min.; dimensions variable)
300 channels and nothing on?! You want to relax, but the program on television sucks? As an artist deeply influenced by Zen a Zen-style meditation in front of a white wall comes to my mind when searching for real relaxation as well as a source of inner strength and joy. In an ironic twist I put the white wall of a Zen-Dojo on a television screen. This piece of work was inspired by the great work “TV Buddha” by Nam June Paik (which I once very much enjoyed in an exhibition many years ago), Jan Dibbets “TV as a fireplace” (1968/9) and also by the program “Daishin Zen TV” on the internet by one of my favorite Zen-masters Hinnerk Polenski, in which he answers frequently asked questions about Zen. I wish there really was a white wall on mainstream television - just once in a while for five minutes instead of boring commercials or... please enjoy!
"Zen-TV Interactive Version"
(2013; video installation; 5:08 min.; dimensions variable)
This is a follow-up to my video-installation “Zen-TV” that was designed for a gallery setting. Of course you may meditate everywhere anytime with or without a white wall in front of you, but as an artist influenced by Zen I was fascinated by the fact that mobile internet is available almost everywhere anytime. Thus I wanted to provide my audience with a white wall to meditate everywhere and anytime they’d like to do so. From an aesthetic point of view I wanted to point out the differences between “real life” and virtual reality for all those who have meditated in front of a real white wall, e.g. in a Zen-Dojo. While watching the entire video you may notice that in today’s world five minutes have become a precious, pretty long period of time, i.e. in our contemporary society it is often difficult to have five minutes on your own while today’s media have conditioned most of us to an attention span of less than three minutes.
(2013; digital prints; 20,5 x 15,3 cm each)
This series was triggered by the informations made public by Edward Snowden in 2013. It seemed like all the conspiracy theorists' nightmares turned out to be underestimating reality.
For me as an artist the striking point was that all this surveillance, policing etc. went unnoticed by the people that were actually observed. In this series I wanted to make the process of surveillance "tangible" or at least perceptible in a simple manner that everybody would understand.
Thus taking these pictures I violated other persons' privacy deliberately and labelled them as "Suspects" with a real stamp. The works also try to emphasize that today's surveillance covers every aspect of our lives. Even when printing the photographies for this series in a shop I was faced with the fact that the pictures were numbered, encoded, recorded and made traceable.
I was also moved by the fact that for today's citizens their state has turned out to be an "uncanny" suspect.
But doesn't surveillance save our lives? Doesn't it prevent terrorist acts from happening? - The answer is up to you!
To represent this argument artistically within the "Suspect"-series one of the suspects in this series is an actual terrorist wanted by German authorities. Try to find out who it is! Do terrorists look different from other people? Don't they look like you and me?
If you find out the "real" suspect, please let me know!
And in my series one more important question remains:
Who will control the controllers, i.e. administrators?
Will a democratic control of surveillance forever be an utopian dream?
Series "Mare" (2003 - today)
I love the sea and thus marine life became an enduring theme in my art.
Initially there were photographies:
Mare "Haffkrug estate"
(2012; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4 x 84,1 cm)
Mare "Haffkrug inverno"
(2011; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4 x 84,1 cm)
(2010; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4 x 84,1 cm)
(2009; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4 x 84,1 cm)
Later on I added some video installations:
(2013; video installation; 4:00,21 min.; dimensions variable)
This video tries to capture a certain "sea-like" or "oceanic" feeling... please enjoy!
I've also produced a series of little sculptures, called "Strandkugeln
" or "beach globes":
"Strandkugeln" or "beach globes" have a diameter of approx. 12 cm and are created at the sea each autumn. They are made of some of the seaweed washed ashore each season. They will still spill sand when shaken after many years. Unfortunately the typical smell disappears after a few weeks.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SERIES:
- send me four handfuls of seaweed and tell me where and when you collected the seaweed
- add a picture of the beach where you collected the seaweed if you like and send it to me via e-mail
- get a free beach globe in return (if you like)
- get mentioned as a donor in future exhibitions
- of course you'll receive a full refund of all postal charges
If you'd like to participate, please contact me:
Series "Mio Amburgo" (2012 - today)
Hamburg, mio amore... so far there have been photographies and some video installations.
Mio Amburgo "Alster"
(2013; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4 x 84,1 cm)
Mio Amburgo "Piccolo Paradiso"
(2013; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4x84,1cm)
Mio Amburgo "La Luna (Giorno)"
(2013; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4x84,1cm)
Mio Amburgo "La Luna (Notte)"
(2013; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4x84,1cm)
Mio Amburgo "Cielo Blu"
(2013; digital print behind acrylic glass; 59,4x84,1cm)
(2013; video installation; 5:09,16 min.; dimensions variable)
The video centers around the contrast between the meditative atmosphere of the lake Alster and the noisy hustle and bustle of downtown Hamburg. At the end of the video you can watch how your perception profoundly changes when a special kind of music is added to the scenery and disappears again.
(Censored on Youtube!)
(2013; video installation; 5:22 min.; dimensions variable)
Hamburg has made a living on trade and logistics for centuries. For most of us it goes without saying that there is fresh food on the shelves of the nearby supermarket every day and our online order should arrive instantly, of course.
But what does it mean to keep logistics going - day in, day out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, under any circumstances? What is it like to live in a place that centers mainly around logistics? How does it feel? As an artist I like to look at things in a different way (than people usually do) and look at places usually ignored by most. Can you stand the daily routine of logistics for more than 5 minutes? Try and find out! If so, there will be an elegant change of perspective for you in the middle of the video... please enjoy.
(2014; video-installation; 5:09 min.; dimensions variable)
(2013; video installation; 5:09 min.; dimensions variable)
Hamburg and the wind are one. But of course you can't see the wind itself, only its manifestations. Here you can observe the wind by a great formation of speedy clouds that unfortunately can only rarely be observed in Hamburg on the background of a sky coloured in azzuro-blue. This video invites you to relax and meditate watching the clouds... please enjoy.
(2013; video installation; 3:11 min.; dimensions variable)
During our busy daily routine there is hardly time to observe thoroughly the changes of the season. This video invites you just to do so. You may think of "memento mori", transience, the beauty of autumn, snow coming soon... just let your thoughts roam...
Series "Pissing places"
(2013; digital prints; 18,7 x 13,7 cm each)
My most personal series so far in the tradition of Piero Manzoni as I will hopefully exhibit in a former comfort station in the nearby future. As an avid cyclist I've been tortured by the fact that there are hardly any comfort stations in my hometown Hamburg, leading to embarrassing situations again and again. Thus as a kind of protest I documented the places that provided me refuge. However, I also learned that in my beautiful hometown there are certain "ostracized" or "proscribed" places neglected and ignored by the public even in the most famous areas of downtown Hamburg that might be called the "shady sides" (or "shady sit
es") of Hamburg. Yet these places are also a place of refuge for many forms of "urban wildlife" - from graffiti artists to rabbits.
If you take a closer look these places exhibit a magic of their own...
In my shop you can find e free e-brochure about the complete series.
If you are interested in the beginnings of my work during the mid-1980s and 1990s, please scroll down the "Kunst"-section of this site.