Published by Spector Books. Text by Alexander Kluge, Tristan Marquardt.
From Wolfram von Eschenbach’s epic of chivalry to Richard Wagner’s opera, from the knight as fool to the fool as savior, the story of Parsifal has struck deep chords with artists over the centuries.
In this collaboration, Georg Baselitz’s studies for a 2018 production of Parsifal at the Munich State Opera (2018) are paired with Alexander Kluge’s responses to Baselitz’s drawings, through stories in which he filters out individual elements from Eschenbach’s epic, such as Parsifal’s native wit or the figure of the Knight of the Cheerful Countenance.
The result is an ongoing communication conducted over long periods of time: aspects of the Middle Ages can be found in the present. The volume concludes with Tristan Marquardt’s text “Excerpts from a Parsifal Lexicon,” which shows how far our contemporary language has diverged from Eschenbach’s in terms of meaning and sound.
Essen’s Museum Folkwang has assembled the first museum exhibition of the work of German filmmaker, writer, philosopher and artist Alexander Kluge (born 1932) to mark the occasion of the 85th birthday of this artistic polymath. Kluge is primarily known to American audiences as a filmmaker and writer. But he has never been satisfied with confining himself to a single art form, and he has not confined himself to a conventional model of single authorship either. Collaboration has long been a central principle in Kluge’s work, conceived as a process of “thinking together” with artists and writers such as Thomas Demand, Georg Baselitz and Ben Lerner. This comprehensive survey, developed in close collaboration with the artist, introduces Kluge’s artistic “pluriverse,” illustrating his most important methods, themes and conceptual approaches through a central focus on his filmic collages and collaborative work.