Yuri Ancarani
La Malattia del Ferro
Haus für Musiker
Raketenstation Hombroich
Opening on 23 April 2017, 12 noon to 6 pm

23 April to 5 June 2017
Friday to Sunday and on public holidays 12 noon to 6 pm
Plus, to coincide with the Art Cologne Fair: Wednesday, 26 April 2017, and Thursday, 27 April 2017, 12 noon to 6 pm
Artist talk, Sunday, 7 May 2017, 11 am

From 23 April to 5 June 2017, Stiftung Insel Hombroich will be showing La Malattia del Ferro, a trilogy by the Italian artist Yuri Ancarani. The three films Il Capo (2010), Piattaforma Luna (2011) and Da Vinci (2012) will be screened at the Raketenstation Hombroich, at the Haus für Musiker. With the interior now completed, this constitutes the house’s first opening to the public in its intended state.

The trilogy is devoted to the relationship of human being and machine in three different, highly specialised working environments. Il Capo, the first film in the set, portrays work in a marble quarry on Monte Bettogli near Carrara in the Apuan Alps. With the elegance that comes from precision, the foreman (il capo) directs bulldozers or more precisely, their drivers in quarrying the great blocks of stone against the backdrop of walls of white rock. In Piattaforma Luna we are in a hyperbaric chamber on the bed of the Ionian Sea, observing the daily routine of six deep-sea divers working on gas extraction in shifts of three weeks at a time. The film Da Vinci invites us to gaze at the inner workings of the human body itself. Ancarani shows the internal and external stages of several laparoscopic operations performed with the Da Vinci surgical robot. While the operating surgeon governs the processes within the patient’s body from a console with the aid of a camera, it is Da Vinci’s mechanical arms that perform the actual operation.

The threefold variation of recurring actions in the interplay of human and machine explores in particular the precise gestures and movements involved in the handling of machinery. The repetition of content is echoed in pictorial composition, corresponding at the same time to an aesthetic of reduction and focus. Sustained within a cool palette, the images are predominantly symmetrical in construction and their subject matter is whittled down to essentials.

Documentary and art in one, the trilogy La Malattia del Ferro can be seen as an allegory for all that lies between mastery, appropriation and the exhaustion and destruction of nature. At the same time the human players appear like heroes, those of three often treacherous worlds of work whose dangers they face anew daily in alliance with their machines.

The three films are being screened on the Raketenstation Hombroich in a building by the  architect Raimund Abraham (1933–2010). Originally conceived as a house for musicians, its effect is that of an architectural counterpart to the self-contained worlds of the trilogy. To outward appearance sealed off hermetically, its interior opens as a protected space where, quite in the spirit of Hombroich, artistic life and production may go hand in hand.

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Photographic Incunables from the Kahmen Collection I+II

Räume für Fotografie
Siza Pavillon
Raketenstation Hombroich
Opening on 23 April 2017, 12 noon to 6 pm

23 April to 20 August 2017 (I)
Friday to Sunday and public holidays 12 noon to 6 pm
Plus, to coincide with the Art Cologne Fair: Wednesday, 26 April 2017, and Thursday, 27 April 2017, 12 noon to 6 pm

From 9 September 2017 (II)

Stiftung Insel Hombroich is launching a new exhibition series devoted to both classical and contemporary approaches to photography. The series opens with a two-part show entitled Fotografische Inkunabeln aus der Sammlung Kahmen I+II, each representing highlights in the development of photography from historical instances to the present day, including photographic works by visual artists who have made the occasional foray into the medium. 

The two consecutive exhibitions feature works by Berenice Abbot, Eugène Atget, Pidder Auberger, Roger Ballen, Cécile Bauer, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Walker Evans, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Bernhard Fuchs, Frank Gaudlitz, David Octavius Hill, André Kertézs, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Henry Moore, Simone Nieweg, Thomas Pöhler, Tata Ronkholz, August Sander, Oskar Schlemmer, Stephen Shore, Kiki Smith, Otto Steinert, Martin Streit, Thomas Struth, Wols, Ulrich Wüst and others. 

Volker Kahmen’s standard work Fotografie als Kunst (1973; Photography as Art, trans. Brian Tubb, London: Studio Vista, 1975) has been translated into four languages. The greater part of his photograph collection was acquired by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 1984, with the exception of some few items which the collector was loth to part with. These form the core of the Kahmen Photography Collection today.

A book is to be issued to accompany the exhibition.  

Thank you to the supporters:

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