Posted by: glue | June 13, 2008

To Kiefer

The Analogy for the expressive practice being generated here is the oeuvre of the German artist Anselm Kiefer. In principle any artist could fill this slot, in that an image metaphysics replaces the legal frame of the literate category (“Kategory” originally meant “indictment” in Greek when Aristotle appropriated the word for philosophy) with the resources of an art context. Kiefer is especially useful because he seems to synthesize in his practice nearly every innovation of twentieth-century visual arts.

The immediate strategy is to appropriate one particular work, a book project entitled Piet Mondrian — Operation Sea Lion (1975).

Kiefer, Operation Sea Lion

Some of the features of this one-of-a-kind book to be generalized into a relay for my experiment include:

1–addresses a policy plan (the Nazi plan for the invasion of Great Britain during WWII).

2–a conceptual evocation of the plan, modelling a selected portion of the historical project.

3–the setting is the artist’s own studio.

4–the 30 pages of the book record a photographic sequence, simulating a cinematic tracking shot, moving from the windows of the room, to a bathtub containing a toy battleship.

5–the photographic representation is manipulated to shift between abstract and mimetic views of the setting and props (the close-ups of the window frames signal the allusion to a Mondrian geometric abstraction).

Kiefer\'s studio, Operation Sea Lion


  1. Keeping a watch for emergent patterns. Two repetitions noted so far (in the images).
    1. The windows in Kiefer’s “Operation Sea Lion,” and in “Corridor Window @ Shands Hospital.”
    2. Long streaming hair: the woman in Schnabel’s film; the girl hanging from the clothesline pole.

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