Kiefer's Monumenta 2007

Time flies in Paris — so many people to see, so many places to go to, so much food to eat (& happily enough kilometers to walk to work it off…). Best part of Wednesday was getting to the Grand Palais and the Monumenta 2007 exhibition, Anselm Kiefer’s Sternenfall / Chute d’étoiles show — a massive installation involving 10 houses housing paintings & some sculpture, and a range of concrete & steel bunker ruins strewn / dispersed / built up inbetween and in the various houses. The show is dedicated to a great extent to Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, though there are other literary figures also, such as Céline, who have fired Kiefer’s imagination. I must say that I am partial to the 47 “paintings” (a series of works that turn around, and include actual ferns — rhyming with Celan’s profound interest in and knowledge of those and other plants and flowers) that make up the Celan house as they are less “monumental” — even in their assemblage — as most of the other work. Also impressive was the (indeed, monumental) “library” installation made of lead (which Kiefer bought wholesale when the Cologne cathedral’s roof was renewed) and glass. I forsook the massive and way too heavy & expensive catalogue, but did buy a recent book on Kiefer and Celan (already shipped back to Albany so I’ll report on it in the fall). Here are two of my own poor snapshots taken in situ:

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2 Responses

  1. François says:

    The snapshots are not too bad. I remember seeing part of this exhibit when the SFMOMA had a Kiefer traveling exhibit in January. One cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the size, the monumentality indeed, of Kiefer’s work.

    About the book on Kiefer and Celan, do you have its ISBN number? I would love to read it too.

  2. Pierre Joris says:

    No, & I have already send the book off — try me again at the end of August when I & the bok will reunite in Albany & I’ll send it to you

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