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A Volker Hildebrandt series of works titled Popes came into being as a result of transforming a picture that already existed in the visual sphere. In this case, it was three parts of a documentary film: the appointment of Karol Wojtyła as Pope, the administration of Holy Communion by John Paul II to Joseph Ratzinger, and the Pope bestowing a blessing from a window of the Papal Apartments towards the end of his life. The artist breaks the shots down into their constituent parts, showing a given event frame by frame.

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A Volker Hildebrandt series of works titled Popes came into being as a result of transforming a picture that already existed in the visual sphere. In this case, it was three parts of a documentary film: the appointment of Karol Wojtyła as Pope, the administration of Holy Communion by John Paul II to Joseph Ratzinger, and the Pope bestowing a blessing from a window of the Papal Apartments towards the end of his life. The artist breaks the shots down into their constituent parts, showing a given event frame by frame. The moving picture is frozen by him. The impression that the frames are multiplied allows you to follow the well-known scenes and concentrate on every single second of the given event, which is impossible in an ordinary movie. Examining the structure, methods of production, and functioning of media images is a significant part of Volker Hildebrandt’s oeuvre, which focuses on images of celebrities. The presented work, which was created after the Pope’s death, incorporates Him into Hildebrandt’s canon of 21st-century figures, and easily recognisable and understandable scenes. It is at the same time a sort of image encompassing the Pope’s pontificate from beginning to end.

Volker Hildebrandt (b. 1953)
Collage, video, installation.

Elaborated by Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków MOCAK, © all rights reserved

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Volker Hildebrandt, series “Popes”: “Pope: comes”, “Pope: goes”, “Popes”

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