Art@Site Anselm Kiefer Poppy and Memory California

Anselm Kiefer


Poppy and Memory

The Donum Estate
on the prowl
A fighter plane in full-size is standing in a field. As far as I know, is here no war. So, why is it there? There's something weird going on with this device, the color is strange and the striping is missing. This airplane is an artwork, it's a statement.
To Anselm Kiefer poppies are a symbol of fertility and death. What would Kiefer mean by the poppies sticking out the window and the outlet?
In my essays, I want to stay close by the artwork; the shape, the color, the size. I like to theorize as little as possible about the possible interpretations of the meaning of the symbols. I cannot say much about Poppy and Memory. After all I see a quite realistic looking object and a limited artistic intervention.
I would like to say that I feel insecure when I see a fighter jet in a field. Did I miss something? No, I’m not at instant risk. Yes, there are wars at this moment, there were too many and gruesome fightings in the past.
Even though there is no immediate danger, Poppy and Memory rightly points out that a danger is still possible on the prowl.
By Theo,

op de loer
Een gevechtsvliegtuig op ware grootte staat in een weiland. Zover ik weet is er geen oorlog. Dus waarom staat het daar? Er is iets vreemd aan de hand met dit toestel: de kleur is vreemd en de striping ontbreekt. Dit vliegtuig is een kunstwerk, een statement.
Klaprozen zijn bij Anselm Kiefer een symbool van vruchtbaarheid en dood. Wat zou Kiefer bedoelen met de klaprozen die uit de ramen en uitlaat steken?
In mijn essays wil ik dichtbij het kunstwerk blijven; bij de vorm, de kleur, het oppervlakte. Ik wil zo min mogelijk theoretiseren over mogelijke betekenissen van de symbolen. Bij Poppy and Memory kan ik daarom niet veel zeggen. Ik zie immers een behoorlijk realistisch object met een beperkte artistieke ingreep.
Ik zou willen zeggen dat een straaljager in een weiland mij onzeker maakt. Heb ik iets gemist? Nee, ik ben niet in direct gevaar. Jah, er zijn op dit moment oorlogen, er is in het verleden onacceptabel veel en gruwelijk gevochten.
Ook al is er geen direct gevaar, Poppy and Memory wijst terecht op de mogelijkheid van een gevaar zich nog steeds kan voordoen.
Door Theo,
The airplane, made of lead, is doomed in its construction so that no flight would be possible. Poppies, a symbol of memory in certain ancient myths, are tucked between lead books—representing the weight and legacy of history.
Anselm Kiefer is considered one of the giants of post-war German art. Born in Germany at the tail end of World War II, his work – like those of his contemporaries Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz – is permeated by the Nazi legacy.
Mohn und Gedächtnis (Poppy and Memory), is a life-sized sculpture of an aircraft and is modeled after a 20th-century warplane owned by the artist himself. The plane will never fly: it is made of lead and zinc and looks old and battered on the outside. The viewer cannot help but associate it with black-and-white newsreel images of combat during World War II.
Kiefer recalls that, growing up in the Germany of the 1950s and '60s, he was not really aware of the Nazi legacy and its ramifica"From the Seventies, there was a lot of discussion in Germany about the war. Every week there was a television program about that period. But at that time, the Fifties and Sixties, people didn't want to talk about it," he says.
It was not until someone gave him a recording of speeches by Hitler, Goebbels and Goering – a recording produced by the American forces to raise awareness of Germany’s recent past – that he became conscious of what had actually occurred"I was shocked, horrified, but also fascinated," Kiefer recalls. "I realized I had to find out more … as an artist, you have to find something that deeply interests yo" he explains.
"It’s not enough to make art that is about art, to look at Matisse and Picasso and say, 'How can I paint like them?' You have to be obsessed by something that can’t come out in any other way. Then the other things – the skill and technique – will
According to Benjamin, historical redemption is the process of redeeming the suppressed from amnesia, and their return to the foreground of historical writing and memory. These are the issues that Kiefer deals with in his art. His airplane is a morbid object, unable to fly. His inability to fly is the product of modernity – of industrialism, war and Shoah.
Poppies being the symbol of both forgetting and remembrance.
Kiefer’s work at the Met Breuer offers powerful insight into the nature of memory, and how Kiefer thinks one ought deal with it. These insights can comment on the Polish and West German projects, not only as a critique, but also as an aid for understanding the complex and fraught tensions relating to the memory of Nazism, the Holocaust, and the Second World War in these national communities.
Kiefer’s work from the late 1960’s to 1980 presents a gradual process in which the arttalized a thesis on how one ought relate to memory. The process begins at the start of Kiefer’s provocations towards West German society and ends with a clear statement on how one ought relate to her past. Both in narrowing down his focus from the societal level down to that of the individual, and also by forming a more focused and explicit technique, Kiefer shows his hand and reveals his philosophy on the matter. By following this narrative arc in Kiefer’s work, his nuanced thesis is understood and asses the outlooks of both West Germany then, and Poland today. Much fanfare has been made about the Polish government's controversial 'Polish Death Camp Law,' which criminalizes the implication of the Polish nation in the atrocities committed at the extermination camps in Polish territory during WWII. This piece of legislation is part of a complex revision of the Polish nation’s past that goes beyond simple party politics.
Kiefer believes that this complete neglect of the past is wrong. This is why d the untitled work, and the whole Heroic Symbols series. This work proclaims, 'THIS IS REAL, NAZISM OCCURED, WE WERE ALL A PART OF IT.' It makes clear that fewer than 15 years later, the Nazi salute was a poignant symbol within West German society. Kiefer directs his work against an unhealthy relation to memory within his culture. Yet the work is only a critique of a certain cultural attitude—it does not propose any solutions.
The son of an art teacher, Kiefer grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany and started drawing and painting when he was a little boy. He decided from a young age to become an artist, but he thought he was good enough to skip art school, so he took up law studies initially. He then changed his mind, enrolling at art academies in Freiburg and Karlsruhe.
While he was still a student, Kiefer created a set of controversial works: he had himself photographed wearing his father's military uniform and imitating the Nazi salute as he traveled h picturesque corners of Switzerland, France, and Italy. In the 50 years since he began working as an artist in post-war Germany, he has found inspiration not only in Germany’s wartime history but also in literature, poetry, alchemy, astronomy, mythology, and religion.
Now based in France, Kiefer has been the subject of major international solo exhibitions at SF MoMA (which has a strong collection of his work), MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Royal Academy of Arts in London among other institutions. In 2007 he became the first artist since Georges Braque to be commissioned by the Louvre Museum in Paris to create a permanent work for the museu