Klaus Lutz, Titan, 2008,
Master copy of a film booklet, detail
The Estate of Klaus Lutz
We are extremely pleased to present the unique work of the Swiss artist and filmmaker Klaus Lutz (*1940 St. Gallen - 2009 New York) in a solo exhibition once again after the comprehensive retrospective of his work last summer at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich.
The oeuvre of Klaus Lutz comes together as a fascinating, densely interlaced universe all its own. Based the premise that written language would soon be replaced by entirely visual communication, Lutz created an intricate sign system that he deployed across a whole range of media (16mm film, film stills, drawing, etching, and performance). Initially his preferred media were small-format dry-point etchings and copperplate engravings of narrative image sequences, some of them based on the writings of Robert Walser, whose work was of crucial importance to Lutz. Later Lutz turned to experimental filmmaking and film performances. By means of multiple exposures, various types of lenses, and self-constructed apparatuses, he created films that combined and overlapped layers of animation, performance, drawings and scenes shot on the streets of New York, where he had been living since 1993. Lutz shot the films all by himself in his one-bedroom East Village apartment. Reminiscent of early silent movies by Georges Méliès or Charlie Chaplin, the films relate the adventures of one man, Lutz himself, in a quixotic universe poised between dream and reality and made up of signs, shapes, everyday objects, and footage of the outside world.
The exhibition at Rotwand focuses on Titan, the last film completed by Lutz in 2008. On view are all of the documents from his estate that pertain to the film and, naturally, also the film Titan itself in its original length. Presented in the format of Lutz' spectacular invention, the balloon projection, the film tells the story of the space odyssey of "small titan," who suffers from delusions of grandeur and who playfully and elegantly captivates us to the point that we allow ourselves to be enchanted and transported to far-flung territories.
Complementing this work as well as providing an in-depth analytical look at Lutz' visual compositions, film stills from the work Acrobatics are also on view in the exhibition. The artist used these stills, photographed directly from a 16-mm film projection, to give the viewer the possibility to study the complex visual layering of his imagery in peace and fathom its deeper meanings while forgoing the quick-paced tempo of his film.
Text Martin Jaeggi (Translation Laura Schleussner)
"In a particular way, Klaus Lutz was a universal artist. His oeuvre has timeless appeal. Within it, we discover art-historical allusions to the Bauhaus or to the Russian avant-garde - and at the same time, we are faced with an artistic language beyond all comparison. And precisely this is probably one of the special qualities of a timeless oeuvre: it makes references to art history and is simultaneously autonomous."
(Dorothea Strauss, "Klaus Lutz Im Universum", Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Kehrer Verlag, 2012, p23)
OPENING ON FRIDAY MAY 24, 6 - 8 PM