Ulrike Müller, Monument To My Paper Body, Ludwig Forum Aachen, 2023.

Ulrike Müller. Monument to My Paper Body

Mural 09.12.2023 – 09.12.2025
Opening: Friday, December 8, 2023, at 7 pm
Matinée: Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 11:30 am

With Carla Accardi, Laurie Anderson, Belkis Ayón, Lygia Clark, Nancy Graves, Alex Hay, Alfred Jensen, Bertram Jesdinsky, Jasper Johns, Imi Knoebel, Christopher Knowles, Svetlana Kopystiansky, Sol LeWitt, Lee Lozano, Rune Mields, Klaus Paier, Margit Palme, Judy Pfaff, Robert Rauschenberg, Dorothea Rockburne, Miriam Schapiro, Peter Young, and Fahr El-Nissa Zeid

The point of departure for the New York-based artist Ulrike Müller’s exhibition Monument to My Paper Body was the invitation to conceive a site-specific intervention for the two walls that face each other in the Light Tower of Ludwig Forum Aachen, each nine meters in width and fourteen meters in height. Her murals Paper Body (ghost), and Paper Body (pointer), both 2023, are temporary monumentalizations of two small-scale collages, which, enlarged to the scale of the architecture, were transferred to the wall as abstract colored forms, partly applied using a sponge technique. A selection of collages, a group of enamel pendants, the Miniatures, 2014, a fabric pattern developed for the exhibition, and the architectural model of the museum together set in motion a complex play with scale relationships and translations between materials which continues in the adjoining rooms.

Monument to My Paper Body presents the variety of painterly and spatial strategies with which Ulrike Müller has, over the past years, crossed over between her studio work and public exhibition and education formats. In the process, forms and materials from the repertoire of art history encounter references drawn from daily life and the so-called applied arts, establishing a notion of painting beyond brush and canvas. In addition to the two murals, collages, monotypes, drawings, textile and enamel works by the artist are on display. In the graphic cabinets on the museum’s lower floor, 198 vector drawings, diagrams of the colored pencil drawings Ulrike Müller has been producing since 2010, constitute a continuous frieze, interrupted in 21 places by individual paintings executed in enamel on steel. These provide insights into the development of motif and color constellations, while the frieze offers an inventory of formations and repetitions.

Within the scope of her artistic activity, Ulrike Müller has repeatedly engaged with curatorial projects. The undoing of seemingly established categories, role or genre attributions, but also of art and collection histories in favor of ambivalences, instabilities and counterproposals, as well as an interrogation of gaps and interstices, are of special interest. For Monument to My Paper Body, Ulrike Müller—jointly with Eva Birkenstock—has curated a presentation in three gallery spaces in which her own works enter into dialogue with selected works from the collections. Taken out of their art-historical framing, familiar and less often viewed holdings from the collections are rearranged along the lines of Müller’s investigations, methodologies, and fields of interest.

Monument to My Paper Body shifts the concept of the monumental. The logic of claiming significance through enlargement encounters fragility, temporality and the open nature of Ulrike Müller’s collages made from scraps of paper. The collection body, the body of her paper works, as well as the bodies of viewers moving through the exhibition spaces are placed in a dynamic field in which size relationships, value constellations and agency appear as questions.

The exhibition continues the Double Wall Projects series (2004-08) initiated by Harald Kunde, for which artists were invited to activate the museum’s two monumental walls as a site of artistic intervention on an annually rotating basis. Starting this December, the series— in an expanded form—will once again become an integral component of the exhibition program at the Ludwig Forum.

Curated by Eva Birkenstock
Curatorial Assistance: Mailin Haberland
Graphic Design: HIT

The exhibition is generously supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, Landschaftsverband Rheinland, BMKOES, Land Vorarlberg and Rueff Textil.


Friday, 08.12.2023, at 7pm
Welcome: Heinrich Brötz, Councillor for Cultural Affairs, City of Aachen and Eva Birkenstock, Curator of the Exhibition, Director, Ludwig Forum Aachen
Saturday, 09.12.2023, at 11:30am, Space

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