Himmelstürmer*innen auf Kurs

Julius Bockelt and Julia Krause-Harder amongst others
Musée Visionnaire, Zürich

28 August 2019 – 16. January 2020



“Der Wolkensammler”
(“The Cloud Collector”)

“Perception is at the center of Julius Bockelt’s interest. He has been observing changing cloud formations for many years. For hours, for days. In the evening he comes home with countless impressions and almost as many cloud images. All of them are stored in his memory. Only a part of them he has captured with his camera to share them with other people. The photos go into his well-organized and cataloged cloud archive, which now contains more than 27,000 images. There are no two alike. Nature’s creativity knows no bounds. More than meteorological phenomena, Julius Bockelt’s cloud collection is about the floating magic and poetry of these fleeting celestial phenomena, which also find expression in a magically attractive film.
Julius Bockelt also makes soap bubbles. Like homemade clouds, he blows them into the sky. On top of them he catches them with statically charged plastic sticks and leads them on the path he helps to determine for them. In this way, he does not have to leave the fragile structures to themselves and the whims of the air current, but can influence their state of suspension, even choreograph it. To make the soap bubbles more resistant and prevent them from bursting immediately, he has also devised a mixture of soap and cola. This makes the soap solution more viscous, the bubbles more elastic and easier to guide. Nevertheless, they remain a symbol of transience. This has not changed since the Dutch still lifes of the I7th century. Century until today nothing has changed.
Given his passion for the phenomenon of transience, it is not surprising that Julius Bockelt also makes sound installations. These are musical experiments with different oscillations, superimpositions of sound waves and other complex sound phenomena, which the artist composes at the mixing desk into an actual soundtrack, thus enveloping himself and his surroundings in a spherical cloud of sound. The sound installations, in turn, are closely interrelated with his graphic works. In his multi-layered drawings, monochrome straight or curved lines cross, overlap, and condense in such a way that they become dense grids and meshes with a moiré effect, reminiscent of the representation of interference in physics. Visual phenomena influence acoustic ones and vice versa. Which came first doesn’t matter.”

Text: Yvonne Türler


“Die Dinosaurier-Spezialistin”
(“The Dinosaur Specialist”)

“In the newly founded Galerie Goldstein in Frankfurt’s Sachsenhausen district, I first encountered two giant dinosaurs by Julia Krause-Harder in December 20I2. The two sculptures almost completely filled the gallery space. I was so fascinated that I immediately wanted to acquire a dinosaur for my collection. However, the smallest from her oeuvre, the Compsognathus, barely one meter long. Because the “exhibition possibilities” in my two places of residence are limited. Unlike the workshop in the Atelier Goldstein of the Lebenshilfe Frankfurt am Main e.V. – the generous remise of a former oil factory – where the artist works regularly. Exactly one year later: costs, transport details, etc. for the purchase of “my” dinosaur seemed finally settled. Christiane Cuticchio, who founded Atelier Goldstein in 200I and has since run one of the world’s most innovative studios, introduced me to the artist and asked us to still talk about the purchase transaction itself. But just the two of us. In our winter coats in this unheated dinosaur workshop, Julia Krause-Harder asked me to give concrete reasons why I wanted to purchase her little dinosaur and take it with me to Austria. Our negotiation lasted one and a half hours. Whether my argument that mammoths once lived in the area of my house in Riedenthal in the Weinviertel ultimately convinced them, I still don’t know. We agreed that every guest of mine would see her dinosaur and that I would also take care of publicizing and exhibiting her work of art. This is what I have been striving for ever since with all the appreciation I have for this extraordinary artist. Two other dinosaurs of hers, the Nanotyrannus and the Maiasaura, were on display this year at the Kunstforum Wien as part of the exhibition I co-curated, “Flying High. Künstlerinnen der Art Brut” (Flying High. Women Artists of Art Brut), I showed them to well over 400 visitors in personal guided tours.
Julia Krause-Harder’s artistic mission is to bring all of the more than 800 known dinosaur species into the world. 3I large sculptures she has already realized. The life task of the I973 in Kronberg im Taunus born artist remains enormous. Part of her production method is “Art-based research” to scientifically investigate the living conditions, the body and skeletal structures as well as the head shape of the dinosaurs. This research takes her to natural history institutions as far away as New York. And she searches for or finds the materials she needs for her artwork. Sometimes over long periods of time.

Two dinosaurs are on display at the Musée Visionnaire: Rhamphorhynchus from 20I5 and Ptenarodon from 20I3. Both are pterosaurs of medium size. For the Rhamphorhynchus, Julia Krause-Harder focused on the elaboration of the wings, specifically the wing shape. She used a cotton fabric for the flight skins, which she sewed onto the wings from below with certain applications. By the way, she learned to work with textiles. To produce the toothed beak, she specifically obtained cable ties. The Ptenarodon is also one of her first sculptures. She used only found materials from her own stock. She sewed black tea bags into wings and the fuselage is made of a flokati carpet.

The wings of her two flying dinosaurs will certainly not only make the artist herself fly to Zurich.”

Text: Hannah Rieger (Sammlerin von Art Brut seit I99I, www.livinginartbrut.com)