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Videozone: Eric Baudelaire “The Ugly One”
Video archiv: Facing the Camera
Platform Aachen: Action art since 1964


Videozone: Eric Baudelaire “The Ugly One”

“The Ugly One” is a story about love, remembering and forgetting – and about Beirut, a city scarred by decades of civil war, violence and destruction. The film by the French artist Eric Baudelaire, for which the Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi has written the script, tells the story of Lili and Michel. Attempting to face up to their past as resistance fighters as well as cope with the present, they are confronted with questions about the meaning, purpose and consequences of militant action. Their thoughts and conversations circle around a planned – or perhaps already carried out – terrorist attack and the fate of a young girl, onto whom Lili projects her feelings of guilt. Baudelaire interweaves these scenes with shots of Beirut’s urban landscape, still marked by the scars of conflict, bomb craters and bullet holes everywhere. Fragments of a conversation between Baudelaire and Adachi, who himself was once active in the extreme leftwing movement in Lebanon as a member of the Japanese Red Army, accompany the images from the off. In this way, Adachis’ personal experiences blend into the plot of the film. Fragmentary – as memories are – images and dialogues merge with Adachi’s comments to generate a forceful political narrative which blurs the distinction between documentation and fiction on the one hand, and between what has happened and what is yet to come on the other.

Curator: Miriam Lowack

The show is part of the “Video Archive” research project funded by the Volkswagen-Foundation.



Video archiv: Facing the Camera
20.09.15 until further notice

Since its beginnings in the mid-1960s, Video has been intertwined with performance in a close and complex relationship. Artists immediately realized the potential of portable cameras to document and to disseminate both public and studio-bound performative actions.

The third exhibition in the Ludwig Forum series “video archive” explores how early video in relation to performance meant a medium of documentation and distribution, but also a genuinely artistic medium. In certain circumstances an action in front of the camera becomes an action for and with the camera, video as a tool becomes video as an artwork. Performance video becomes video performance.

The featured videos (among them well-known works by artists such as Joan Jonas and Bruce Nauman as well as rare documents from the archive) are part of the Ludwig Forum collection and the “Video Archive” research project, a collaboration of the Ludwig Forum Aachen with the art history department of the University of Cologne and the ZKM Centre for Arts and Media Karlsruhe. The project is funded by the Volkswagen-Stiftung.

Curated by Jenny Dirksen and Lou Jonas.



Platform Aachen: Action art since 1964
20.09.15 until further notice

A Fluxus-commotion at the lecture hall, a burning knight’s castle at the Old Spa House: art, is not always made for eternity. Beginning in the 1960s, with performances and happenings, artists create art forms that do not produce works of material worth, but only exist for the moment of their performance. By means of rare original documents in the exhibition the research project Platform Aachen reconstructs certain examples that took place in Aachen.

The Fluxus-festival at the Technical University of Aachen acted like a starting signal after which Aachen advanced to a lively center for action art in Germany. Not uncommonly newspaper articles, photos and assumed nondescript publications are the only trail, reminding of the often provocative art events. But how much “story telling” is behind the former news coverage and how effektively does this inform our view on the events nowadays? Why have some activities nearly been forgotten by now and others have turned into art historical myths?

One of the exhibition’s focal points lies on the activities of the Neue Galerie, which was since its foundation in 1970 completely committed to contemporary art and hereby – very up to date – also to action art.

Curator: Benjamin Dodenhoff




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