Annette Kelm: Die Bücher - The Books

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Open: Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm

Eschenbachgasse 9, A-1010, Vienna, Austria
Open: Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm


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Annette Kelm: Die Bücher - The Books

Vienna

Annette Kelm: Die Bücher - The Books
to Sat 24 Jul 2021
Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm
Artist: Annette Kelm

MEYER KAINER presents an exhibition by Annette Kelm on the theme of Nazi book burnings.

Artworks

Dr. M. Crede-Hörder, Volk in Not! Das Unheil des Abtreibungsparagraphen (§218), 1927, Carl Reissner Verlag Dresden, Druck bei Gerold Verlag Pößneck, mit 16 Schöpfungen von Käthe Kollwitz, 2020

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Upton Sinclair, Das Geld schreibt. Eine Studie über die amerikanische Literatur, 1930, autorisierte Übersetzung von Elias Canetti, Malik Verlag, Berlin, Einbandgestaltung John Heartfield, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Bertolt Brecht, Mann ist Mann. Die Verwandlung des Packers Galy Gay in den Militärbaracken von Kilkoa im Jahre 1925, 1926, Propyläen-Verlag im Ullsteinhaus, Berlin, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Kurt Tucholsky, Lerne lachen ohne zu weinen, 1931, Ernst Rowohlt Verlag, Berlin, Fotografie: Wellington Film Manufacture, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Erich Maria Remarque, Im Westen nichts Neues, 1929, Remarques Buch ist das Denkmal unseres unbekannten Soldaten von allen Toten geschrieben (Walter von Mole), 1929 Propyläen-Verlag, Berlin, Einbandgestaltung Werner Beucke, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Erich Kästner, Das verhexte Telefon, 1935, Williams & Co. Verlag GmbH, Berlin-Grunewald, Copyright Atrium Verlag AG, Zürich, 1935, Einbandgestaltung Walter Trier, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Joachim Ringelnatz, Kinder Verwirr Buch, 1931, Ernst Rowohlt Verlag, Berlin, Einbandgestaltung Joachim Ringelnatz, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Heinrich Mann, Little Superman, 1945, übersetzt von Ernest Augustus Boyd, Creative Age Press Verlag, New York, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz. Die Geschichte vom Franz Biberkopf, 1931, S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin, Einbandgestaltung Georg Salter, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Alexandra Kollontay, Wege der Liebe. Drei Erzählungen: Die Liebe in drei Generationen, Schwestern, Wassilissa Maligyna, 1925, Malik-Verlag A.-G. Berlin, Autorisierte Übertragung aus dem Russischen von Etta Federn- Kohlhaas, Einbandgestaltung John Heartfield, 2021

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Else Lasker-Schüler, Hebräische Balladen, 1913, U.R. Mener Verlag, Berlin Wilmersdorf, Einbandgestaltung Else Lasker-Schüler, „Jussufs Versunkenheit“, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Magnus Hirschfeld, Sittengeschichte des Weltkrieges, 1930, herausgegeben von Sanitätsrat Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, Erster Band, Verlag für Sexualwissenschaft Schneider & Co., Leipzig, Wien, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Sigmund Freud, Die Zukunft einer Illusion, 1927, 1.-50. Tausend, Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Wien, 2021

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Vicki Baum, stud. chem. Helene Willfüer, 1928, 71.-80. Tausend, Ullstein Verlag, Berlin, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

Erika Mann, School for Barbarians, 1938, Education under the Nazis, Introduction by Thomas Mann, Translation by Mrs. H.T. Lowe-Porter, Princeton, N.J. – May 28, 1938 Modern Age Books, New York, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

Wera Inber, Der Platz an der Sonne, 1930, autorisierte Übersetzung aus dem russischen Manuskript von Elena Frank, 1. - 7. Tausend, Malik-Verlag, Berlin, Druck der Spamerschen Buchdruckerei in Leipzig, Einbandgestaltung John Heartfield, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

Helene Stöcker, Liebe, 1927, Verlag der Neuen Generation, Berlin-Nikolassee, Einbandgestaltung John Heartfield, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

Henri Guilbeaux, Wladimir Iljitsch Lenin. Ein treues Bild seines Wesens, 1923, Verlag die Schmiede, Berlin, Ohlenrothsche Buchdruckerei Georg Richters, Erfurt, Einbandgestaltung Georg Salter, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

Thomas Mann, Mario der Zauberer. Ein tragisches Reiseerlebnis, 1930, S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin, Einband, Vorsatz und dreizehn Textbilder von Hans Meid, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

E(katerina) D. Nikitina,13 Frauen fliehen, 1930, Mopr Verlag, Berlin, Einbandgestaltung Günther Wagner, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

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Franz Kafka, Amerika, 1927, Kurt Wolff Verlag, München, 2020

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery

Friedrich Wolf, Cyankali. § 218, Für Constanze Menz, 1929, Internationaler Arbeiter-Verlag, Berlin/Wien/Zürich, Einbandgestaltung Max Keilson, Einbandgestaltung Elli Markus, Atelier für Photographie, 2019

Archival pigment print
70 x 52.5 cm
Ed. 6 + 2AP

contact gallery


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By Vanessa Joan Müller

Annette Kelm’s artistic practice, with its focus on seriality and a seemingly objective approach to multiply coded materialities, is often described as conceptual—it reflects on the medium of photography and appropriates its classical genres in order to fulfill their conventions in a deliberately incomplete way by means of an abstracted, contemporary adaptation.
Photographic forms of representation are explored in terms of the semantic charge they lend to the subject, though the representation is simultaneously infiltrated by subtle ambivalences of meaning. Kelm’s series Die Bücher [The Books] differs from her previous work, however, in that it considers the question of the object and its image to a disproportionately greater degree. This is due above all to the fact that the photographed books are artifacts whose graphic design vividly reflects cultural history, but which are integrated into a much larger historiography.

On 10 May 1933, National Socialist students burned some 30,000 books on the former Opernplatz in Berlin. On the initiative of the German Student Union, numerous book burnings followed in other German cities. “Lists of harmful and undesirable literature” were also drawn up, on the basis of which “un-German” ideas were removed from libraries and bookstores. These lists included many well-known authors, but also those who have since disappeared from cultural memory. The banned books covered political literature, scientific books, novels, and poems—even children’s books were burned. They were denounced because they reflected a progressive zeitgeist, because they spread “leftist” ideas, because they stood for the emancipation of women, for internationalism—or because they were written by Jewish authors.

Annette Kelm’s photographs show the contemporary first editions of publications that fell victim to the public spectacle of the book burnings or were blacklisted. In these pictures, the book becomes a planar object, the cover becomes central. This emphasis on the factual avoids symbolic freighting, allowing the cultural and ideological significance of the publications to come to the fore instead. The orientation towards formal criteria and the renunciation of any narrative elements also emphasizes the translation of the object into the two-dimensional space of photography—the book becomes an image.

The books Annette Kelm depicts are in fact from that time. This makes them affectively charged vehicles of communication, survivors of the auto-da-fé of 1933, and representatives of their authors—many of whom went into exile, were persecuted or murdered. Their photographic representation, however, also makes them relics of a past that resist immediate accessibility. We cannot leaf through these books, we cannot read them, we can only look at them as images. As immediate as their photographic presence makes them seem, it renders them as abstractions that beg the very fundamental question of how and under what conditions historical consciousness can continue to function when fewer and fewer contemporary witnesses remain to report on the past.

There is no archive of blacklisted books that Kelm could simply photograph; Nor does the series strive for completeness. Annette Kelm’s Die Bücher [The Books] does not distinguish between ordinary-looking books and those that are expressive, even evocative. They are all presented for contemplation on equal footing, and thereby wrested from the past. The historical relic rescues itself into the present in visual form, while refusing to make the ultimately incomprehensible tangible or to become part of a historical consciousness that, by referencing historical images, yet again highlights the perpetrators’ self-aggrandizement and the burning piles of books. Kelm provides an alternative to these familiar, backward-looking documentary images, focusing instead on the authors and victims of National Socialist politics by giving them back a visibility that, to some extent, remains lost to this day. Reading their books brings them alive.

Photo: Kati Göttfried/Meyer Kainer, Vienna


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