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Rimbaud m´apportez des apricots
Rimbaud m´apportez des apricots

Rimbaud m’a apporté des abricots

Public intervention, lecture, video

 

While searching for a do-it-yourself store in the French city of Valence Klette comes upon a parking lot framed by an apartment building from the 1960s by the name of “Place Arthur Rimbaud“.

Animated by the suburban location of the place, the absence of a connection between the place’s name plate and the place itself as well as a certain action potential behind the written name Klette asks passers-by if they were willing to spontaneously recite a poem by Arthur Rimbaud.

Klette distributes leaflets to promote the participation in recitation days and talks to residents about possible actions.

The project’s video shows spontaneous lectures as well as free, scenic recitations of texts by Rimbaud performed by the participants on the place’s flower beds.

 

 

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Variation on a stair
Variation on a stair

Variation on a stair

2014 Performance, CASS Gallery London
Ausgehend vom Bild des Widerstandes / Hindernisses zwischen Kommunizierenden oder eben Künstler und Rezipient in Form von Sprache, Technik, Geistiger und körperlicher Konstitution, wird ein solches allgemein bekanntes Hindernis konstruiert.

Grundlage ist der Versuch durch das Gehen auf einer provisorischen Treppe eine Erzählung zu entwickeln, bei welcher sich die Beobachter so in Relation zum Akteur setzen als würden sie selbst die Treppe gehen. Steigen und Fallen, Rythmus und Geschwindigkeit der Ausführung werden zur Methode bei eben diesem Versuch eine Verbindung zu den Beobachtern herzustellen.

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Ungefährer Vorschlag
Ungefährer Vorschlag

Ungefährer Vorschlag

Ungefährer Vorschlag

in Above us only sky

Hospitalhof Stuttgart 2013

Above us only sky develops the exhibition themes using different media: The results are a series of small sculptures, paper collages as well as a staging for two speakers.

 

 

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Schmitt und Chammer
Schmitt und Chammer

Above us only sky – Schmitt und Chammer

Text and text collage, staging for two actors, approx. 40 min.

2013

In an interview Mies van der Rohe talks about the opposition to the construction of the Weißenhofsiedlung by local architects of the Stuttgarter Schule under participation of Le Corbusier, Mart Stam and other representatives of the “Neues Bauen”. He mentions two of the biggest adversaries: “Schmitt und Chammer” – meaning Paul Schmitthenner and Paul Bonatz, then leading representatives of conservative and tradition-oriented architecture.

for more information please go to 

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Above us only sky Subject of the exhibition project Above us only sky is the history of the Brenzkirche on top of Stuttgart Killesberg which was built in 1933 by Alfred Daiber in the style of the „Neues Bauen”. Upon insistence of the city council in 1938, shortly before the opening of the Reichsgartenschau in Stuttgart, the church got a saddleback roof on top of its flat roof. Furthermore a rectangular corner was added at the building’s rounded northwestern corner, window apertures were walled up and the open steel construction of the clock tower was closed. Above us only sky develops the exhibition themes using different media: The results are a series of small sculptures, paper collages as well as a staging for two speakers.
Above us only sky Subject of the exhibition project Above us only sky is the history of the Brenzkirche on top of Stuttgart Killesberg which was built in 1933 by Alfred Daiber in the style of the „Neues Bauen”. Upon insistence of the city council in 1938, shortly before the opening of the Reichsgartenschau in Stuttgart, the church got a saddleback roof on top of its flat roof. Furthermore a rectangular corner was added at the building’s rounded northwestern corner, window apertures were walled up and the open steel construction of the clock tower was closed. Above us only sky develops the exhibition themes using different media: The results are a series of small sculptures, paper collages as well as a staging for two speakers.

Above us only sky

Above us only sky

Subject of the exhibition project Above us only sky is the history of the Brenzkirche on top of Stuttgart Killesberg which was built in 1933 by Alfred Daiber in the style of the „Neues Bauen”. Upon insistence of the city council in 1938, shortly before the opening of the Reichsgartenschau in Stuttgart, the church got a saddleback roof on top of its flat roof.

Furthermore a rectangular corner was added at the building’s rounded northwestern corner, window apertures were walled up and the open steel construction of the clock tower was closed.

Above us only sky develops the exhibition themes using different media: The results are a series of small sculptures, paper collages as well as a staging for two speakers.

archive

Something true, based on a nice story
Something true, based on a nice story

Something true, based on a nice story

2012 Performance, T-shirt sales, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel, Switzerland

The focus of the performance is descriptions of the artist’s garden, accompanied by a presentation of 330 photographs that show details of the garden. These descriptions then evolve into a song for and about the garden, which is later transferred to a textile medium: after the performance, T-shirts printed with images of plants from the garden are sold. The price of the T-shirts is defined by the buyer.

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Unions – an excerpt
Unions – an excerpt

Unions – an excerpt

2012 HD video 38:30 min.

 

The peculiarities of everyday culture do not only include aesthetic but also human phenomena. It is no exaggeration to apply this evaluation to the subject of Klette’s video installation “Einheiten – excerpt”. The man who has a white beard and speaks with a charming Hessian lilt that instantly quashes any doubts about his integrity uses the conversation as a eulogy to science. It is quickly apparent that the protagonist possesses little systematic but a kind of higher knowledge. Throughout his life, he has acquired extensive knowledge that is not finite and now forces itself into verbal expression. Klette has filmed the interview in the style of a television science show elevating his subject to the level of an established expert. The man philosophises on big bang theory with the same infectious intensity as on the meaning of life, the properties of carbon molecules or types of wild corn. Yes, you could classify this man as crazy, unwordly naïve and a dreamer but that would negate the powerful quality of his performance.

Excerpt from: “Spaß an der Sache - Über Florian Klette und sein Interesse an den Besonderheiten unserer Alltagskultur.” (Finding Fun – about Florian Klette and his Interest in the Peculiarities of Everyday Culture’) Dr. Daniel Hornuff, 2012 HFG Karlsruhe

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Foucault and others
Foucault and others

Foucault and others

2009 Performance/Installation

 
Using a stencil, the artist traces letters onto a wall with his tongue. The writing is barely visible on the wall. The use of saliva in place of ink is an allusion to Michel Foucault’s discourse on originality. However with the words Foucault und so (Foucault and others), the artist is addressing his own and the viewer’s blind trust in science as well as the themes of applying certain labels to certain situations and people, and name dropping to achieve a particular desired response.

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Molly, Bill and Wendy
Molly, Bill and Wendy

Molly, Bill and Wendy

2011 Video/performance 20:32 min. Video PAL

 
Consumer testimonials form the focus of this project – reports sent by email to an American software vendor. These are displayed on the company website for advertising purposes. The company primarily develops spyware that, once installed on a computer, enables the user to monitor other computers and entire networks, gaining insight into email exchanges and browser history. Almost every testimonial upholds the opinion that values such as reliability, honesty and trust can be fostered through controlled surveillance. The reports allow the observers to voice their views, provide an account of the discoveries they have made and speak of their satisfaction with the software product. In a similar way, companies keep their employees under surveillance, parents their children and partners each other. Each testimonial tells a different story, each in its own special way. The email texts are embodied by three actors and are summarised in a 20-minute performance. This creates dialogues between the characters that range from the absurd to the tragic. The colloquial style of the emails contrasts with the simplified form of the performance. For example, multiple emails are presented simultaneously or entire passages spoken in chorus.

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Jockey dansen
Jockey dansen

Jockey dansen

2009 Video 15:34 min, PAL

While registering to take part in an exhibition at the Heidelberg Kunstverein, Florian Klette researched the biography of the then director Johan Holten and discovered that before becoming a curator, Holten had been a ballet dancer. Klette wrote to Holten asking if he would be willing to teach him a dance that he had performed himself. Prior to the exhibition, Klette received dance lessons from Holten. The focus of the exhibition is the application letter and a film that documents Klette’s progress before showing the finished choreographed piece.

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The presentation
The presentation

The presentation

Die Arbeit entstand im Rahmen der Präsentationsreihe des Stuttgarter Künstlerhauses „Hier und Jetzt“ kuratiert von Michael Birchall und Axel Wider. Der Künstler entschloss sich mit den Strukturen der klassischen Künstlerpräsentation zu agieren und diese auf simple Weise zu transformieren. Vor dem blauen Hintergrund der Powerpointprojektion auf einem Stuhl sitzend, legte er die obligatorische Fragerunde am Ende von Präsentationen, gleich an den Anfang, ohne dem Publikum vorher etwas über seine Arbeit zu erzählen. Somit wurde der Rahmen für eine Konversation geöffnet, die weit über die Grenzen hinausgeht, welche durch die Praxis des Künstlers als Diskussionsgrundlage gesteckt worden wären. Durch den so gerichteten Fokus auf das Fragen des Publikums, wird die Koexistenz vom Interesse an künstlerischen Positionen einerseits und die Profilierung durch Wissen über zeitgenössische Kunst andererseits, offen legt.

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Hot and cold works
Hot and cold works

Hot and cold works – (water at temperatures of 22.03°C, 35.00°C, 57.01°C, 70.00°C und 90.00°C)

2008 photo, Lambda print, diasec, 53.00 cm x 74.00 cm each
Water at various increasing temperatures was photographed in a fish tank. The lens focuses on a thermometer which is pulled out of the water shortly before the shutter release is pressed. This means the point of focus is in the picture but just as invisible on the images in this five-part series as the measured water temperature. The result is presented as a diasec (digital print behind Perspex on alu dibond.)

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Having text
Having text

Having text

2009, Installation, Video, objects and text

Over a period of two weeks, the artist asked passers-by in front of the project centre Interventionsraum in Stuttgart to tell him about the last book they read. The accounts were recorded. Afterwards, the participants were required to complete a questionnaire on the topic of reading and asked to attribute their story to a particular object or to create one. Passers-by who could not create an object left precise instructions and sketches for other people to put into practice. In the course of the two weeks, three hours’ worth of texts was collected.

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Picking up a match
Picking up a match

Picking up a match

2007 Performance, Three-channel video 07:32 min, PAL presentation, simultaneously on three monitors

11 artists attempt to pick up a single matchstick together, carry it across the room and set it down on a plinth.

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One’s audience
One’s audience

One’s audience

MDF, carpet, quartz, electro-engine, 100 x 100 x 98cm, 2010

As part of the “hardcore/dècor” exhibition at Import/Export in Frankfurt, in collaboration with Julien Viala. A walk-in cube. On a podium inside is a piece of quartz that is rotating. When a viewer enters the cube, only his or her legs can be seen from the outside, merging with the sculpture and becoming a part of it.

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No stranger to you and me
No stranger to you and me

No stranger to you and me

2010 Video/Performance

“No stranger to you and me” addresses a ritual where participants focus their mind on a well-known, popular piece of music. The music is then transformed across multiple levels. The performance is based around 15 CD players all playing the song In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. Visitors are given a paper cup containing a mouthful of water. One after the other, the CD players start playing and the participants are asked to drink the water but not to swallow, keeping the water in their mouth for the duration of the song.

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New works
New works

New works

Wood/paper, various sizes, in collaboration with Julien Viala, Künstlerhaus Heilbronn

New works plays on a common subtitle of large-scale art exhibitions. The label promises a resurrection of the artist, announces a continuation of his or her career and is a vehicle for securing a position on the market. White paper stretched over wooden frames and stacked in a way reminiscent of works in storage, some of them slipping off the pile, represent the possibilities of new future works of art whose blank canvasses already exist today.

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Movements of money
Movements of money

Movements of money

2008, Video 13:22 min, PAL

The film “Movements of money” features people in city street scenes. The protagonists let others pass by as they listen to very loud music through headphones and move around freely to the beat, walking up and down, nodding their head or lightly tapping their feet. These figures are bankers and city employees who the artist has asked to dance outside their place of work to Pink Floyd’s song Money.

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ISR at City Hall
ISR at City Hall

ISR at City Hall

Performance, Video 07:48 min, PAL

A group of German and American artists all involved in a three-month Institute of Social Research (ISR) project meets at San Francisco city hall to take part in an artistic performance. The nature of the performance is however not known to them. They are asked to arrange themselves like a choir. When given the signal, they must begin to sing a note, without turning it into a word and without first aligning the tone with the rest of the group. They must sing as loud as they can and after taking a breath, they must resume singing the same note. Each member was faced with the decision of contributing to a group harmony by adapting his or her note to match the pitch of a louder, more dominant one or of attempting to assert their own voice in the hope of establishing it as a reference point for others. The performance was eventually interrupted by police officers.

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Interieurs
Interieurs

Interieurs

2009 - 2012

Series of photos from a permanent collection of Internet images. Mounted and framed carbon prints of photographs of homes taken from real estate web portals.

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I work hard
I work hard

I work hard

2009 (Sound) Installation, Audio 02:27:42 min, mp3, shoes, speakers and amplifier

 

After realising that he had written more in his sketch book in 2008 than he had drawn, the artist decided to read the notes aloud in a recording lasting two and a half hours. The text, which in the installation is heard from inside an old pair of shoes belonging to the artist, includes the dimensions of sketches, ideas for new projects, general ramblings, poems, addresses, the times of public transport connections and appointments. The artist documents how his ideas developed, provides insight into his thoughts and shows the often banal starting point for complex projects. The degree of disclosure depends on the observer since only by listening for a longer period, can he or she make sense of the snippets and understand how the projects came to be. The themes of ingenuity and originality in combination with the power of the sketch book or diary of an artist are also addressed. In addition, the piece asks to what extent the characteristic of diligence can be expressed in artistic form and how this itself can be applied in the evaluation of art.

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How to fight loneliness
How to fight loneliness

How to fight loneliness

2008 Video 03:24 min, PAL

 
In the film, a plastic bag worn on the artist’s head inflates and deflates as he breathes in and out. When the bag is inflated, a very simple sketch of a smiling face can be seen. When the bag deflates, the face shrivels and merges with the features of the person beneath it. As the air in the bag is consumed, the sketch becomes less visible.

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how to built a box around one’s head
how to built a box around one’s head

how to built a box around one’s head

2007 Video 7:22 min, PAL

In the film accompanying this project, the artist constructs a wooden box around his head with utmost precision. His tools are a hammer and nails. Several attempts were necessary before the desired effect was achieved and filmed. The work is part of a series in which Florian Klette addresses the shapes of urban housing using a range of media, including collage, sculpture and performance art.

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Curtain
Curtain

Curtain

MDF, metal, wood stain, height 3.20 m

The installation is reminiscent of the contours of a continuous wall. But the viewer can pass through the structure leading with his or her shoulder to fit through the narrow opening.

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The shortest route
The shortest route

The shortest route

Since 2008, Picture book with 44 images

 
Continuous collection of photographs showing unsurfaced footpaths in urban spaces that shorten, avoid or improve existing traffic and transport connections.

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365 x 3 – What it means to achive
365 x 3 – What it means to achive Thumbnail 365 x 3 – What it means to achive

365 x 3 – What it means to achive

2008/2009 Audio-CD, 21:33 min

 
Über ein Jahr hinweg nahm Klette jeden Tag unmittelbar nach dem Aufwachen einen von sich in den Laptop gesungenen Ton auf, den er drei Sekunden lang hielt. Dabei wurde der Ton nicht überlegt gesetzt, sondern dem Zufall körperlicher Faktoren überlassen. Klette begibt sich damit auf die Suche nach einem unbewussten Grundton, der frei von dialogischer Betonung ist und seine Prägung durch die Umstände des jeweiligen Zeitraumes erhält. Während der Durchführung verbat sich Klette das Anhören der zuletzt gesungenen Töne, um eine Angleichung der Tonstimmung auszuschließen. In der Soundinstallation folgen die Töne chronologisch aufeinander, wodurch sich ein Klangbogen über das gesamte Projektjahr spannt. Stellenweise scheinen ein paar aufeinanderfolgende Töne in derselben Tonlage zu sein, was sich mit dem nächsten Ton meist wieder ändert. Da Klette versuchte, jeden Tag dieselbe Tonlage zu treffen, ist das Projekt neben der Disziplinierung zur täglichen Fortführung auch als eine Reflexion des akustischen Gedächtnisses zu lesen.

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As long as I held my breath
As long as I held my breath

As long as I held my breath

2009 installation/sculpture, Wood, 30 cm height, 30 cm width, length dependent on the artist (approx. 38 m)

Participation in a sculpture project where a wooden beam is erected whose length depends on how far the artist can walk without taking a breath. Based on the concept that sculpture is always an indicator of the physical and mental state of its creator, a wooden beam was erected in an urban setting representing the distance that the artist managed to walk while holding his breath.

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The offer
The offer

The offer

2010 Performance Video 7:30 min.

Performance at the opening evening of the exhibition “hardcore/dècor” at Kunstraum Import/Export in Frankfurt. As part of the formal welcoming speech, the artist cuts into a three-tier cake. After a few minutes, he begins to throw pieces of cake directly at the surprised audience. The audience quickly separates into two groups: those who leave the room outraged and those who begin to pick up cake and throw it back at the artist in revenge, launching a cake fight set to John Lennon’s Instant Karma which is booming from the speakers.
The piece “The offer” explores the relationship between formality and etiquette at exhibition openings and art events and questions the expectations of producers and visitors in terms of art as a happening or party in an intellectual guise.

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Rimbaud m’a apporté des abricots

 

Public intervention, lecture, video

 

While searching for a do-it-yourself store in the French city of Valence Klette comes upon a parking lot framed by an apartment building from the 1960s by the name of “Place Arthur Rimbaud“.

Animated by the suburban location of the place, the absence of a connection between the place’s name plate and the place itself as well as a certain action potential behind the written name Klette asks passers-by if they were willing to spontaneously recite a poem by Arthur Rimbaud.

Klette distributes leaflets to promote the participation in recitation days and talks to residents about possible actions.

The project’s video shows spontaneous lectures as well as free, scenic recitations of texts by Rimbaud performed by the participants on the place’s flower beds.

 

Variation on a stair

2014 Performance, CASS Gallery London

Variation on a stair
Florian Klette investigates the division of self during his performance and the connection between himself and the public. Obstacles like the materials, language, perception of movement, constitution of mind and understanding are represented by the stairs. The impulse of doing something leads the artist to the need to go beyond these obstacles, transforming them into something new and uncertain on the way from the performer to the receiver. Something will be destroyed in the process. The ups and downs physically mirror the ambivalent feeling and the intimate struggle of the performer as human being.
Moreover, while watching a performance, the audience wants to receive sensations and feel entirely part of the spectacle, but at the same time does not want to stay too close, be connected to the artist but keeping a certain distance. Struggling with the text of the performance, Florian tries to lead the public to identify with himself.

Silvia Meloni, Curator based in London

Ungefährer Vorschlag

in Above us only sky Hospitalhof Stuttgart 2013 Above us only sky develops the exhibition themes using different media: The results are a series of small sculptures, paper collages as well as a staging for two speakers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above us only sky – Schmitt und Chammer

Text and text collage, staging for two actors, approx. 40 min.

2013

In an interview Mies van der Rohe talks about the opposition to the construction of the Weißenhofsiedlung by local architects of the Stuttgarter Schule under participation of Le Corbusier, Mart Stam and other representatives of the “Neues Bauen”. He mentions two of the biggest adversaries: “Schmitt und Chammer” – meaning Paul Schmitthenner and Paul Bonatz, then leading representatives of conservative and tradition-oriented architecture.

The exhibition project Aboveusonlysky, which deals with the history of the Brenzkirche in Stuttgart, stages contemporary texts in the scenic project Schmitt und Chammer. Punchy quotations by conservative architecture giants are confronted with the ideals of the “Neues Bauen”. Texts found in the church archives dating from the time of National Socialism and free dialogues are looking for humanity between the two characters. Humanity itself is alternating between euphoria about a new thinking in architecture and shaping of the habitat on the one hand and constraints as well as tradition-conscious regulations by the Nazi regime on the other hand.

Content and phonetic quality of the texts are partly elevated by the speakers and taken to absurdity by repetition of words and clauses. Thus the official language body seems to become independent and thus thwarting itself.

Above us only sky

Subject of the exhibition project Above us only sky is the history of the Brenzkirche on top of Stuttgart Killesberg which was built in 1933 by Alfred Daiber in the style of the „Neues Bauen”. Upon insistence of the city council in 1938, shortly before the opening of the Reichsgartenschau in Stuttgart, the church got a saddleback roof on top of its flat roof.

Furthermore a rectangular corner was added at the building’s rounded northwestern corner, window apertures were walled up and the open steel construction of the clock tower was closed.

Above us only sky develops the exhibition themes using different media: The results are a series of small sculptures, paper collages as well as a staging for two speakers.

 

Above us only sky (Installation)

Installation under the rooftop of the Brenzkirche, Killesberg, Stuttgart

Hose, cotton cloth, water barrels, water

2013

The onlooker is crossing the room diagonally on a wooden walkway. The room‘s gable walls are covered with cotton cloth and illuminated. Water is dripping from the rooftop into vessels standing in the room. The access to the installation leads through the old church tower – the exit has to be taken through the parish councilor’s washroom.

Something true, based on a nice story

The focus of the performance is descriptions of the artist’s garden, accompanied by a presentation of 330 photographs that show details of the garden. These descriptions then evolve into a song for and about the garden, which is later transferred to a textile medium: after the performance, T-shirts printed with images of plants from the garden are sold. The price of the T-shirts is defined by the buyer.

 

2012 Performance, T-shirt sales, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel, Switzerland

Unions – an excerpt

The peculiarities of everyday culture do not only include aesthetic but also human phenomena. It is no exaggeration to apply this evaluation to the subject of Klette’s video installation “Einheiten – excerpt”. The man who has a white beard and speaks with a charming Hessian lilt that instantly quashes any doubts about his integrity uses the conversation as a eulogy to science. It is quickly apparent that the protagonist possesses little systematic but a kind of higher knowledge. Throughout his life, he has acquired extensive knowledge that is not finite and now forces itself into verbal expression. Klette has filmed the interview in the style of a television science show elevating his subject to the level of an established expert. The man philosophises on big bang theory with the same infectious intensity as on the meaning of life, the properties of carbon molecules or types of wild corn. Yes, you could classify this man as crazy, unwordly naïve and a dreamer but that would negate the powerful quality of his performance.

Excerpt from: “Spaß an der Sache – Über Florian Klette und sein Interesse an den Besonderheiten unserer Alltagskultur.” (Finding Fun – about Florian Klette and his Interest in the Peculiarities of Everyday Culture’) Dr. Daniel Hornuff, 2012 HFG Karlsruhe

2012 HD video 38:30 min.

Foucault and others

Using a stencil, the artist traces letters onto a wall with his tongue. The writing is barely visible on the wall. The use of saliva in place of ink is an allusion to Michel Foucault’s discourse on originality. However with the words Foucault und so (Foucault and others), the artist is addressing his own and the viewer’s blind trust in science as well as the themes of applying certain labels to certain situations and people, and name dropping to achieve a particular desired response.

 

2009 Performance/Installation

Molly, Bill and Wendy

Consumer testimonials form the focus of this project – reports sent by email to an American software vendor. These are displayed on the company website for advertising purposes. The company primarily develops spyware that, once installed on a computer, enables the user to monitor other computers and entire networks, gaining insight into email exchanges and browser history. Almost every testimonial upholds the opinion that values such as reliability, honesty and trust can be fostered through controlled surveillance. The reports allow the observers to voice their views, provide an account of the discoveries they have made and speak of their satisfaction with the software product. In a similar way, companies keep their employees under surveillance, parents their children and partners each other. Each testimonial tells a different story, each in its own special way. The email texts are embodied by three actors and are summarised in a 20-minute performance. This creates dialogues between the characters that range from the absurd to the tragic. The colloquial style of the emails contrasts with the simplified form of the performance. For example, multiple emails are presented simultaneously or entire passages spoken in chorus.

 

2011 Video/performance 20:32 min. Video PAL

Molly, Bill and Wendy – reactivating the body

For some years now, the term surveillance has experienced a boom. Particularly in discussions about public safety, the issue of surveillance is often conveyed as a means of government protection. Critics, on the other hand, view it more as a breach of key human rights to freedom. Both sides take an entirely different stance and the ensuing debate is morally charged. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the issue of surveillance is not broadly considered as a sound basis for trust. On the contrary, it seems to compensate for lost trust, assuming a substitute role. A completely different understanding of surveillance provides the motivation for the piece “Molly, Bill and Wendy”. An American spyware vendor regularly publishes customer reviews on its website: business people and private individuals express their opinions and experiences of the product and hail it as a highly effective way to build trust. Some of the testimonials even insinuate that the surveillance of data is a feasible instrument of humanisation, in other words, can be seen as a means of repairing broken relationships. Suspicious bosses and distrustful fathers deploy the program to close the distance between themselves and their employees or daughters and to (re)assert their own authority. The advertising strategy purposely avoids images of the human body. Where other companies show videos of satisfied customers waxing lyrical on a product, this firm chooses not to reveal the speakers, denying the opportunity for the viewer to verify the credibility of the testimonial for his/herself. This anonymisation of the body gains further significance when we consider that the spyware only becomes necessary when there is no direct physical contact between the observer and the person being observed. Thus, for its success in practical application and for advertising purposes, the product relies on an absence of the body. In short, the removal of the body seems to legitimate the purchase and deployment of the software. Against this background, the “Molly, Bill and Wendy” gains an explosive character by giving the testimonials a body. In this respect, the piece can be considered as an artistic experiment, the results of which are uncertain at the start of the project: will restoring the body authenticate the accounts? Or will it serve to underline the false, constructed nature of their content? And what does this mean for the issue of surveillance itself? Does it have to exclude the body to be interpreted as positive? Or do the subjectification and personalisation of the testimonials expose the reprehensibility of such methods? The project searches for answers by reuniting the texts with the body and addressing the interplay between language and speaking and between asserting a claim and personification.

 
Dr. Daniel Hornuff Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe Institut für Kunstwissenschaft und Medienthoerie (university for design in Karlsruhe, institute of art and media theory)

Jockey dansen

While registering to take part in an exhibition at the Heidelberg Kunstverein, Florian Klette researched the biography of the then director Johan Holten and discovered that before becoming a curator, Holten had been a ballet dancer. Klette wrote to Holten asking if he would be willing to teach him a dance that he had performed himself. Prior to the exhibition, Klette received dance lessons from Holten. The focus of the exhibition is the application letter and a film that documents Klette’s progress before showing the finished choreographed piece.

2009 Video 15:34 min, PAL

The presentation

Die Arbeit entstand im Rahmen der Präsentationsreihe des Stuttgarter Künstlerhauses „Hier und Jetzt“ kuratiert von Michael Birchall und Axel Wider. Der Künstler entschloss sich mit den Strukturen der klassischen Künstlerpräsentation zu agieren und diese auf simple Weise zu transformieren. Vor dem blauen Hintergrund der Powerpointprojektion auf einem Stuhl sitzend, legte er die obligatorische Fragerunde am Ende von Präsentationen, gleich an den Anfang, ohne dem Publikum vorher etwas über seine Arbeit zu erzählen. Somit wurde der Rahmen für eine Konversation geöffnet, die weit über die Grenzen hinausgeht, welche durch die Praxis des Künstlers als Diskussionsgrundlage gesteckt worden wären. Durch den so gerichteten Fokus auf das Fragen des Publikums, wird die Koexistenz vom Interesse an künstlerischen Positionen einerseits und die Profilierung durch Wissen über zeitgenössische Kunst andererseits, offen legt.

Hot and cold works – (water at temperatures of 22.03°C, 35.00°C, 57.01°C, 70.00°C und 90.00°C)

Water at various increasing temperatures was photographed in a fish tank. The lens focuses on a thermometer which is pulled out of the water shortly before the shutter release is pressed. This means the point of focus is in the picture but just as invisible on the images in this five-part series as the measured water temperature. The result is presented as a diasec (digital print behind Perspex on alu dibond.)

 

2008 photo, Lambda print, diasec, 53.00 cm x 74.00 cm each

 

Free from indexicality
About Hot and Cold Works – water at temperatures of 22.03°C, 35.00°C, 57.01°C, 70.00°C und 90.00°C, by Florian Klette, 2009. It is one of the most persistent presumptions in modern art that it is possible to extract real-world significance from technically generated images. Many of these discussions focus on the camera’s power to objectivise, as if it is undoubtedly preserving something forever and opening up reliable lines of sight between the viewer and the original object. Entire generations of art and media theorists – with Roland Barthes leading the way – were ecstatic at this belief, viewing the image not as a false and misleading factor but as a bona-fide reflection of reality. Barthes even sought to find a hint of reality in analogue photographs and founded a broad tradition of indexical interpretation that is still relevant in current debates about the authenticity of the digital medium. Florian Klette’s piece “Hot and Cold Works” subtly addresses this rather naive notion – and confronts it with an ironic twist. In this four-part photo series, the view of reality seems entirely obstructed by grey veils. A hasty, superficial interpretation would focus on the gradual gradients of colour in these abstract images and even where nothing can be seen, would postulate significance: as if the unfathomable truth lay in the impenetrable. Yet Klette’s work rejects this interpretation and addresses the theme of photography as a witness on a linguistic level: water at temperatures of 22.03°C, 35.00°C, 57.01°C, 70.00°C und 90.00°C. Perhaps, on learning this information, the viewer seeks to prove or disprove the accuracy of the stated temperatures by examining the varying number of bubbles or the differences of colour density and shade in the grey surfaces. But the definitive impossibility of authenticating the theory soon becomes evident. The documentary nature of photography vanishes and the title of the piece becomes an unfounded claim. A direct correlation between the images and the words is created without, however, the possibility to ascertain additional deeper meanings. The fact that Klette defines the temperatures to two decimal places underlines his intention to provoke reflection [vereinfacht, weil ich mir nicht genau sicher bin, was Konkretisierungsanstrenung meint]. Can this technically generated visual really let us differentiate between small nuances of reality and deliver insight into the temperature of the water? Klette’s piece negates this theory and proposes that every image distorts the view of reality and should not be subject to hasty attempts at indexical interpretation. Those who view images as a definitive indication of reality must be prepared for limited interpretations that blur the boundaries and narrow the scope for insight.

Dr. Daniel Hornuff Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe Institut für Kunstwissenschaft und Medienthoerie (university for design in Karlsruhe, institute of art and media theory).

Having text

Over a period of two weeks, the artist asked passers-by in front of the project centre Interventionsraum in Stuttgart to tell him about the last book they read. The accounts were recorded. Afterwards, the participants were required to complete a questionnaire on the topic of reading and asked to attribute their story to a particular object or to create one. Passers-by who could not create an object left precise instructions and sketches for other people to put into practice. In the course of the two weeks, three hours’ worth of texts was collected. Throughout the project, the accounts were transcribed, printed and cut into fragments of four lines each. These were distributed amongst visitors to the exhibition opening who were asked to read them and attach them to A4 pieces of paper specially prepared for this purpose. This meant the visitors were heavily involved in the process of creating a new text. Afterwards, the newly compiled text was read aloud by a news journalist from local radio station, SWR. The focus of the exhibition was a film showing the passers-by describing their stories. On a monitor, the performance by the SWR news reader could be seen. The objects and sculptures created by the participants were displayed on plinths and tables around the room. Further, the questionnaires, sketches and instructions provided insight into the processes behind this project. Florian Klette seeks to discover whether a reader can become an author if he/she is asked to retell a story in as much detail as possible and create a visual prompt. The questionnaires were not designed as a formal evaluation but rather to give the participants the opportunity to reflect on their own experience of reading. Visitors to the exhibition were given a unique opportunity: to explore a text on multiple levels but also to witness the process that transports the written, spoken and recounted word from one level to the next. What is lost during this transition? How is the quality improved? The exhibition was part of the EXP series held in the exhibition space Interventionsraum in Stuttgart from 30 October 2009 to 6 November 2009.

 

2009, Installation, Video, objects and text

Picking up a match

11 artists attempt to pick up a single matchstick together, carry it across the room and set it down on a plinth.

 

2007 Performance, Three-channel video 07:32 min, PAL presentation, simultaneously on three monitors

 

Matchball

“Picking up a match” is Stuttgart artist Florian Klette’s video installation that was commended in a competition for young artists hosted by Enovos. The performance focuses on a group of students, who have met in San Francisco to take part in a project, as they attempt to pick up a matchstick. The word match is also designed to evoke the idea of a game or contest that is just getting underway. The film depicts a bizarre kind of ritual, a comical test of ability described even by the artist himself as nonsensical. Everyone is familiar with the commonplace matchstick. It is a source of energy and triggers certain responses and memories – from asking for a light for a cigarette, to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Matchgirl, to two-player childhood games using matchsticks. In Klette’s game, eleven people take part – all trying to pick up the same match. Is it an ode to simplicity? An attempt to concretise a small, seemingly insignificant object? Or a hint at Arte Povera? Certainly, all of these things play a role. But insight into transformed structures of meaning has a key significance, rejecting the banal level of understanding offered by the found object (objet trouvé). So what is it all about? On three monitors, the video installation shows a clearly defined and choreographed sequence: a group of people crowd around a matchstick on the floor, kneeling down together and forming a single, united body. Each player stretches one arm towards the centre of the circle, pressing the end of one finger onto the match. This enables them to lift it. The group stands up and together transports the match across the room, setting it down on a plinth. Then the group disperses. Through its presentation on three screens, superimposed text expressing thoughts and shifting shots and cuts, the action seems at first to be fragmentary. However, it soon becomes apparent that these are purely tactics to build suspense, culminating in the combined effort of the group to lift the matchstick. This sequence filmed from a bird’s eye perspective is indeed the pivotal scene of the piece. Leading up to it, a medium long shot shows the mass of people kneeling down resembling an igloo made from human bodies. The subsequent close-ups of the group from above reveal the inner life of this organism. Hands are slowly moving towards the centre point, defined by the matchstick; fingers stretch out to touch it. The shape is reminiscent of the sun and its rays or the spokes of a wheel. And this is where the visual appeal of this piece really takes hold – in a kind of déjà-vu. In prehistoric times, the wheel was a symbol of the sun. It signifies movement through time and space, progression through life. The windows in medieval sacral architecture were called rota (which means wheel), their hub was considered a sacred centre around which the earth revolved. Florian Klette draws on this archaic symbolism to convey his desired meaning. He is alluding to fire and energy. Going beyond the dynamics of the group, ancient rituals of sun worship form the basis of the action, expressing the battle of this small group to grasp fire and therefore energy, locking it into their genes and their collective subconscious.
Heinz Höfchen, Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern

One’s audience

As part of the “hardcore/dècor” exhibition at Import/Export in Frankfurt, in collaboration with Julien Viala. A walk-in cube. On a podium inside is a piece of quartz that is rotating. When a viewer enters the cube, only his or her legs can be seen from the outside, merging with the sculpture and becoming a part of it.

 

MDF, carpet, quartz, electro-engine, 100 x 100 x 98cm, 2010

No stranger to you and me

“No stranger to you and me” addresses a ritual where participants focus their mind on a well-known, popular piece of music. The music is then transformed across multiple levels. The performance is based around 15 CD players all playing the song In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. Visitors are given a paper cup containing a mouthful of water. One after the other, the CD players start playing and the participants are asked to drink the water but not to swallow, keeping the water in their mouth for the duration of the song. Gradually, the music begins and becomes a collage of sound. Holding the water in their mouths, the people listen. Once the last of the 15 CDs has stopped, they spit the water back into the cup. These are collected in and the liquid added to plaster of Paris powder. Using simple movements, the water and the plaster are mixed together to create a kind of sculpture. The performance took place is Galerie Weingrill as part of a gallery tour through the city of Karlsruhe.

 

2010 Video/Performance

New works

New works plays on a common subtitle of large-scale art exhibitions. The label promises a resurrection of the artist, announces a continuation of his or her career and is a vehicle for securing a position on the market. White paper stretched over wooden frames and stacked in a way reminiscent of works in storage, some of them slipping off the pile, represent the possibilities of new future works of art whose blank canvasses already exist today.

 

Wood/paper, various sizes, in collaboration with Julien Viala, Künstlerhaus Heilbronn

Movements of money

The film “Movements of money” features people in city street scenes. The protagonists let others pass by as they listen to very loud music through headphones and move around freely to the beat, walking up and down, nodding their head or lightly tapping their feet. These figures are bankers and city employees who the artist has asked to dance outside their place of work to Pink Floyd’s song Money.

2008, Video 13:22 min, PAL

ISR at City Hall

A group of German and American artists all involved in a three-month Institute of Social Research (ISR) project meets at San Francisco city hall to take part in an artistic performance. The nature of the performance is however not known to them. They are asked to arrange themselves like a choir. When given the signal, they must begin to sing a note, without turning it into a word and without first aligning the tone with the rest of the group. They must sing as loud as they can and after taking a breath, they must resume singing the same note. Each member was faced with the decision of contributing to a group harmony by adapting his or her note to match the pitch of a louder, more dominant one or of attempting to assert their own voice in the hope of establishing it as a reference point for others. The performance was eventually interrupted by police officers.

 

Performance, Video 07:48 min, PAL

Interieurs

Series of photos from a permanent collection of Internet images. Mounted and framed carbon prints of photographs of homes taken from real estate web portals.

 

2009 – 2012

I work hard

After realising that he had written more in his sketch book in 2008 than he had drawn, the artist decided to read the notes aloud in a recording lasting two and a half hours. The text, which in the installation is heard from inside an old pair of shoes belonging to the artist, includes the dimensions of sketches, ideas for new projects, general ramblings, poems, addresses, the times of public transport connections and appointments. The artist documents how his ideas developed, provides insight into his thoughts and shows the often banal starting point for complex projects. The degree of disclosure depends on the observer since only by listening for a longer period, can he or she make sense of the snippets and understand how the projects came to be. The themes of ingenuity and originality in combination with the power of the sketch book or diary of an artist are also addressed. In addition, the piece asks to what extent the characteristic of diligence can be expressed in artistic form and how this itself can be applied in the evaluation of art.

2009 (Sound) Installation, Audio 02:27:42 min, mp3, shoes, speakers and amplifier

How to fight loneliness

In the film, a plastic bag worn on the artist’s head inflates and deflates as he breathes in and out. When the bag is inflated, a very simple sketch of a smiling face can be seen. When the bag deflates, the face shrivels and merges with the features of the person beneath it. As the air in the bag is consumed, the sketch becomes less visible.

 

2008 Video, 03:24 min, PAL

how to built a box around one’s head

In the film accompanying this project, the artist constructs a wooden box around his head with utmost precision. His tools are a hammer and nails. Several attempts were necessary before the desired effect was achieved and filmed. The work is part of a series in which Florian Klette addresses the shapes of urban housing using a range of media, including collage, sculpture and performance art.

 

2007 Video 7:22 min, PAL

Curtain

The installation is reminiscent of the contours of a continuous wall. But the viewer can pass through the structure leading with his or her shoulder to fit through the narrow opening.

 

MDF, metal, wood stain, height 3.20 m

The shortest route

Continuous collection of photographs showing unsurfaced footpaths in urban spaces that shorten, avoid or improve existing traffic and transport connections.

 

Since 2008, Picture book with 44 images

365 x 3 – What it means to achive

Over the course of a year, the artist recorded a note he sung every day immediately after waking. The note was held for three seconds. The idea was to produce a sound that was not premeditated but which depended on chance and physical factors relating to the artist’s own body. Klette is searching for a type of unconscious basis pitch that is free from the effects of external dialogue but nevertheless influenced by environmental factors. For the duration of the project, the artist did not listen to the recordings from the previous day to avoid subconscious attempts to match the pitch. In the sound installation, listeners hear the notes played one after the one, creating an audible document spanning the entire year. Sometimes, the notes appear to be the same pitch but the artist soon strays from this. Klette tried to sing the same tone each time, making the project an exercise in discipline and applying it from day to day, as well as a reflection on aural memory.

 

2008/2009 Audio CD 21:33 min

Links

As long as I held my breath

Participation in a sculpture project where a wooden beam is erected whose length depends on how far the artist can walk without taking a breath. Based on the concept that sculpture is always an indicator of the physical and mental state of its creator, a wooden beam was erected in an urban setting representing the distance that the artist managed to walk while holding his breath.

 

2009 installation/sculpture, Wood, 30 cm height, 30 cm width, length dependent on the artist (approx. 38 m)

The offer

Performance at the opening evening of the exhibition “hardcore/dècor” at Kunstraum Import/Export in Frankfurt. As part of the formal welcoming speech, the artist cuts into a three-tier cake. After a few minutes, he begins to throw pieces of cake directly at the surprised audience. The audience quickly separates into two groups: those who leave the room outraged and those who begin to pick up cake and throw it back at the artist in revenge, launching a cake fight set to John Lennon’s Instant Karma which is booming from the speakers.
The piece “The offer” explores the relationship between formality and etiquette at exhibition openings and art events and questions the expectations of producers and visitors in terms of art as a happening or party in an intellectual guise.

 

2010 Performance Video 7:30 min.

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