Harry Kramer – Studio Kramer

In 1970, the artist Harry Kramer (b. 1925 in Lingen, d. 1997 in Kassel) followed a call to become a professor at the Kassel University of Fine Arts. Himself skeptical about the question of whether art could be taught, he decided to give up his own production and in the future to make and exhibit art together with his students. On the other hand, the artist Kramer did not disappear completely into the pedagogical province, but only shifted the authorship from the previously sole one to that of the collective under the name Atelier Kramer. „The renunciation of signature does not go back to a refusal to art, but to the signature,“ he formulated in this regard. In terms of content, it was a matter of jointly conceived and executed actions.

The premise was that art is always radical, and following this, the actions had existential features, existential traits. The gradual appropriation of all art production by the market on the one hand and a society tending towards conservatism on the other were reflected. In 1971, for example, Harry Kramer walled himself up in the Fridericianum Museum in Kassel for ten days and communicated with visitors only through bars.

An even more extreme reaction to the phenomenon of the surveillance state was the installation Documents and photographs from the time of Atelier Kramer will be presented.

Curator of the exhibition is Heiner Schepers, former director of the Kunsthalle Lingen.