Agricola de Cologne - 2000-2020 - 20 years encoded excellence
Installation & photography
The installation & photography section
incorporates a thematic concept dealing with the artist’s memory & identity.
Like in the work before 2000, Agricola de Cologne is using a metaphorical language which cannot be understood on first sight. The work after 2000 is using time and technoloy based art, video and video performance, as well as photography and digital image and sonic art, at the same time, he is not only visual artist but also curator by composing installations incorporating optionally exhibition components which he is curating by including external artists’ and curator’s works, for instance curated video programs.
Agricola de Cologne is going down in his entire work to the topics “memory” & “identity”. Caused by a terror attack in 1998, he fell into a coma for several months, before he returned to life 1999 – however loosing his memory nearly completely, which returned during many years slowly, but not completely.
“Memory” and “identity” as topics, do not refer only to the artist’s life, but become metaphors for essential quentions of human existance.
The fortress Massada at the dead sea was the last refuge of the Jews in the Jewish war 73/74 after Christ. It became a symbol of freedom for the Jewish people. Shortly before the storming of the fortress by the Romans, the last of the surviving Jews committed a collective suicide, they preferred to go to freedom and to die for freedom than to be enslaved or massacred by the Romans.
When Agricola de Cologne visited Israel and Palestine (Westbank) in 2005 and 2006, he was led by his Way to the Dead Sea and the fortress Massada. The archaic landscape, in a strange way
at the same time radiating a holiness, timelessness and peace, but also unimaginable violence in itself, was to this day, the scene of the emergence of humanity, the birth of world religions and at the same time death and destruction, a contradiction that he was feeling on all levels of the senses.
Massada became for the artist a synonym for his own life, shaped by his family, the urge for freedom, the advocacy of his conviction. and fighting for self-determination, a permanent tightrope between life and death, but also a kind of magical connection to Jewish culture.
The core of the exhibition project represents the juxtaposition of different forms of artistic expressions, on the one hand in media art installations, the associated photographs and videos, but then curating as an Agricola de Cologne’s specific art practice.
Opposite stands the individual and his individual artistic creation and a kind of artistic creation in the collective, in the context of a network at different levels. According to the networking idea, the installation project can be composed in a kind of modular principle to be adapted to local conditions by an individual concept.
The smallest unit, based on the modular system, is the media art installation “The Massada Manifestation “, which consists of three media components in the minimal constellation – optionally with additional ones, complementing media components (photography, videos and picture objects) – this contrasts with the installation a curatorial selection of videos by different artists from all over the world, those in the narrower and wider contextually related. The exhibition of these videos may be in accordance with the local conditions and the concept to be developed in different forms of presentation either on their own or taken separately, as an installation on monitors, as projections and / or screening.
The “other forms of transience” follow a similar concept. These installations are consisting of photographs, videos, picture objects and interactive works from the individual artistic creations Agricola de Cologne’s. The thematic orientation of an exhibition installation is determined by the nature of these “other forms”, which space for Is available, and how the curatorial selection videos are based on it. This is the artist / curator, the general art video collections of artvideoKOELN consisting of several thousands of Videos available on “memory” & “identity”, on the other hand thematically related associated projects like the The W:OW Project – We Are One World – http://wow.engad.org – Collective Trauma Film Collections or The 7 Memorials for Humanity – which Agricola de Cologne started in response to current cultural-social-political developments, whereby the focus on the exhibition project can be controlled individually. The latter projects brings to the exhibition media art formats, such as digital prints, photography, video, sound art, as well as multimedia projects, and takes social responsibility beyond the collective responsibility of the network.