6. April 2019 – 14. July 2019
Works of art arise from inner necessities. Painters, sculptors, photographers or – more generally and thus blurredly spoken – "artists" work against finiteness with their work by leaving traces of their being. They shape or design with the most diverse methods and materials, and in their tireless work it nevertheless becomes clear that they themselves and, in the end, their works cannot resist transience.
The sculptor Stephan Balkenhol has already created many sculptures, reliefs and prints in his artistic work, in which he deals with death in a symbolic way. In his Bone Man or in his series of skull reliefs, his personal interest in the eternally final mystery of human existence is revealed, and as in all his works, his unique treatment of wood is also evident here. In the working process, Balkenhol removes material in order to add something to the work. He is an author and picture maker. The wood loses volume and gains shape. Contents lie open in the observation and at the same time withdraw into the layers that were not cut away.
The Museum for Sepulchral Culture, which has been dedicated to the thematic spectrum of dying, death, burial, mourning and remembrance since 1992, shows old and new works on death in collaboration with Stephan Balkenhol. The open and light-flooded architecture of the museum, designed by Wilhelm Kücker, creates special spatial situations for the sculptures, most of which are in colour. It is the first thematic museum exhibition in his adopted home city of Kassel, which will take place at a place familiar to him on the Kassel vineyard: Balkenhol went to school in the Friedrichsgymnasium next to the museum in the 1970s.
The concert and the introductions to the exhibition by director Dr. Dirk Pörschmann and the head of the cultural department of the city of Kassel Susanne Völker, Stephan Balkenhol's greeting and a commentary by Father Dr. Saalmann can be listened to here. The Berlin brass band Fanfara Kalashnikov provided the musical (and rapid) background.
Dr. Dirk Pörschmann / art historian
Michael Göbel / artist
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.
Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur
Museum für Sepulkralkultur
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0