Anna und Bernhard Blume
12/19/87 - 02/07/88
Anna and Bernhard Blume, both born in 1937, he in the Ruhr district, she near Münster, married, two 19-year-old daughters, living in Cologne with grandma Maria, brother Willi, and quasi-sister-in-law Sybille, show in large photo sequences aspects of their (our) cosy life in a nuclear family. However, the two artists reverse the familiarity and cosiness to the complete opposite - no, all they do is re-stage and point out in a quasi-authentic way the craziness inherent to everyday life. The living-room turns into the "crazy-room". Cautious handling of cult objects in the living-room, such as vases, turns into "vase-ecstasy". While peeling potatoes in a daily routine, the housewife gets into a kitchen-rage, or lunch turns into Eucharist: boiled potatoes become objects of salvation. The artist couple works together on this artistic transformation of everyday life into pictures of exemplariness; in drawing, both work along separate lines.
Anna Blume, at the beginning indeed related to Schwitter's Anna Blume, but now, after "20 years of forced labour at school and for the family", she is more like flower power radicalised by feminism, drawing gigantic female bodies patterned with flowers in a realistic to caricatural way. Bernh. Joh. Blume (a friend of Beuys and comrade of the "Green" party) draws cartoon-like, shorthand signs of salvation and disaster in art and life.
But in front of the miniature motor-camera the artist couple acts jointly. She shoots him, he shoots her, and via delayed-action shutter release at times both are filmed. Their photo theatre plays indoors and outdoors. In the armchair in front of the TV and in the woods and fields, these two existential extremes between which German intimate life oscillates. Lately, they also go into raptures about Tenerife. But the local landscape is not yet completely shot.
For the exhibition in Frankfurt, the tympanum-roofed Portikus (along the axis of the Obermain Bridge) has already become a cosy home through the banner with the title put up between the columns of the new exhibition hall. And from the high nurses' home of the Heilig-Geist hospital directly behind Portikus, Anna Blume smiles down on Frankfurt's chaos from a huge photo transparency.
Anna and Bernhard Blume