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Jutta Koether, Fresh Aufhebung, 2004

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The video “Fresh Aufhebung” belongs to the large installation of the same name by Jutta Koether, which is on view in the exhibition “Forever Young – 10 Years Museum Brandhorst.”

As well as the video, the work “Fresh Aufhebung” comprises 170 canvases, always in the same format of 50 x 40 centimeters, painted with black acrylic. While the paintings, placed closely next to one another on the walls, are almost overwhelming in their variety and intensity, the video of “Fresh Aufhebung” shows each picture alone, one after the other. The video acts on the one hand as an index of the whole installation: the uniqueness of each painting comes into its own. On the other hand, in its rhythms and sequence we get a sense of the temporality in which the pictures were created: over the course of a year, but never more than one painting per day.


Particularly in the quiet sequence of the paintings, the surprising scope that is opened up to the artist by the narrow, self-chosen specifications of format and color becomes clear: Some pictures appear almost gesturally terse, while others are heavily condensed. We can see pale streaks, compositions of blotches and circular forms or gloomy swirls. But everything is in black. Thus the intensity of the brushstrokes in their nuances come all the more distinctively to the fore.


The symbolic quality of the color black – as a (non-) color that extinguishes everything else, in other words pure negation – is also reflected in the recurring deletions and overpainting. But even if the paintings are immaterial, the body becomes visible in them as a mark, trace or gesture. By these means, Koether develops physical expression and emotion from the self-imposed formal restrictions. However her goal is not authentic expression, but rather boundless artificiality.


Fresh Aufhebung 2004

Video, b/w, no sound

8:28 mins