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Jochen Kuhn
* 1954 in Wiesbaden (D), lives and works in Ludwigsburg (D)

Part III_Talking Pictures

Works in the Exhibition | Interview

Jochen Kuhn: HOTEL ACAPULCO, 1987
Photo: courtesy Goetz Collection

Works in the Exhibition

Neulich 2, 2000, single-channel 35mm film (color, sound) transferred to DVD, 8'30"
Der Lautlose Makubra, 1980, single-channel 35mm film (color, sound) transferred to DVD, 16'11"
Die Beichte, 1990, single-channel 35mm film (color, sound) transferred to DVD, 10'3"
Robert Langner, Biografie, 1988, single-channel 35mm film (color, sound) transferred to DVD, 25'9"
HOTEL ACAPULCO, 1987, single-channel 35mm film (color, sound) transferred to DVD, 12'6"
NEULICH 1, 1998/99, single-channel 35mm film (color, sound) transferred to DVD, 3'14"
DAS EI, 1981, single-channel 8mm Film (color, without sound), 5'59"
BILDNIS M, 1976, single-channel 8mm film projection (color, without sound), 14'35"
SONNTAG 1, 2005, single-channel 35mm film projection (color, sound), 5'46"


Stephan Urbaschek: You use the expression 'Malerreise' (painter's journey) with regard to your work - i.e., the films. That suggests a journey from subjects painted individually to a complete moving picture sequence. I find that a wonderful metaphor covering both levels of your work - the paintings and the film side.
Jochen Kuhn: I always had this problem of what to call the films. They weren’t real cinema, feature films - certainly not cartoons. So we kept looking for a name. There are two terms I rather like, one - 'Lichteratur'(1) - comes from Bazon Brock, the other was 'Malerreise'. Painting as a journey, the "gradual formation of a painterly thought during painting", to misquote Heinrich von Kleist.(2) Both terms seem to me nicely poetic. 'Lichteratur' seems particularly good because it emphasizes the narrative aspect and it’s also literature. We know from research into brain activity that when we read, our visual faculties are also active. Not just because we have to identify letters when reading but also because we produce pictures. So that's a mild dream process that doesn’t become quite as explicit as when we’re dreaming, But we are, of course, envisioning or visualising what we happen to be reading. This combined process - narrating and shaping - was my subject matter from the first.

(1) Literally, 'lighterature', i.e., 'light' + 'literature'. Lichtbild = photograph.
(2) Cf. Kleist's Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden (On the gradual formation of thoughts while speaking), 1805.

Text excerpt »'Lichteratur' and 'Malerreise' - Interview with Jochen Kuhn, Ludwigsburg, November 2005 (Author: Stephan Urbaschek), Exhibiton Catalogue Imagination Becomes Reality Part III_Talking Pictures