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- Author Andreas Kaufmann
- Date of production 2002
- Dimensions height: 56 cm, width: 70 cm
- Author's designation none
- ID no. BS/884
- Availability in stock
- Object copyright Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digital images copyright © all rights reserved, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digitalisation RPD MIC, Virtual Małopolska project
The artistic creativity of Andreas M. Kaufmann has evolved around such concepts as space, time, and the public sphere. It is manifested through a variety of means (both analogue and digital) and forms; the artist is particularly fond of using projection. The increasingly strong mutual penetration of the artistic sphere and technology has led the artist to undertaking reflections on the civilizational context in which current art functions.more
The artistic creativity of Andreas M. Kaufmann has evolved around such concepts as space, time, and the public sphere. It is manifested through a variety of means (both analogue and digital) and forms; the artist is particularly fond of using projection. The increasingly strong mutual penetration of the artistic sphere and technology has led the artist to undertaking reflections on the civilizational context in which current art functions. For over two decades, Kaufmann has been fascinated by the problem of the ubiquity of digitally mediated images, which lose their visual relationship with what they represent, when saved in the form of binary code, becoming abstract, flat, anonymous, and colourless. The artist has tried to restore them to the space from which they were separated by means of technology. In this context, he is particularly interested in media depictions, produced on a massive scale and devoid of individual features, to which he wants to add a more personal and emotional character.
The 40 Gestures series has been created, based on a collection of publicly available images, collected by the artist over several decades. Paintings taken from newspapers, magazines, books, films, television, and the internet have become the starting point for a series of subjective archives. One of them can be described as an archive of gestures. Its collection consists of suggestively posed figures from the public sphere: politics, economy, sport, and the media. While processing their images, Kaufmann applied a strategy characteristic of his projects: he extracted selected figures from the original media context and placed them in a new environment. The manipulation of the picture was deepened by the equalization of the originally diverse portrayals in terms of scale and shot – each image was reduced to an identical format and showed only the head and hands of a human figure. All images are also organized by the same pattern of composition: a strong blur to the sharpness of the black and white image (making it difficult to recognize the features of the person presented) and showing the figure against a background of an abstract pink surface. At first, the viewer tries to deduce the identity of the person, but, after a while, they notice a wider problem of interpersonal communication as well as those specific situations from which only characteristic gestures remain in our memory.
Kaufmann treats the archive of gestures as a lifelong, constantly developing project. It is a specific biographical story of the artist’s fascination. It constitutes a repertoire of model gestures, the evolution of which illustrates the artist’s interest in their presentation, changing over time: from the problem of recording various manners of gesticulation, to aspects of their media representation. The artist’s action is a classification which can be understood also in a broader perspective – it helps to pay attention to the symbolic and causative dimension of gesture, its political, social or even historic potential, which is probably capable of changing the course of history.
Elaborated by Anna Lebensztejn, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.
Andreas M. Kaufmann (b. 1961) is the author of photography, videos, and installations. He is a graduate of Kunstakademie Münster (1991) and AUS in Münster and Dortmund (1991). During the years 1999–2001, he was an assistant to Prof. Zbigniew Rybczyński at Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne. His works were presented at individual and collective exhibitions, among others, Wandel ohne Wachstum. Stadtbau-Kultur im 21. Jahrhundert (German Pavilion, VI Architecture Biennale, Venice, 1996), Moving Images. Dilm-Reflektion in der Kunst (Galerie für Zeitgenössiche Kunst, Leipzig, 1999), Revolving Doors (Apexart, New York, 2001; Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, 2004), 100% (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków, 2002), Stadtlicht—Lichtkunst (Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum – Zentrum Internationaler Skulptur, Duisburg, 2004–2005); Andreas M. Kaufmann—Sinnmaschine (Liner Foundation, Appenzell, 2011), Hirschfaktor. Die Kunst des Ziterens (ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2013–2014), Lucida Space (National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, 2014), Hotel Orient (State Museum of Literature, Tbilisi, 2014–2015), Blaise Cendrars au coeur des arts (Musée des beaux-arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 2015). He lives and works in Cologne and Barcelona.