Anna und Bernhard Blume

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The German artist duo Anna and Bernhard Blume (1936–2020 and 1937–2011) are internationally renowned for their black and white photographs.

The duo staged performative actions and captured them on camera. Most are bizarrely arranged domestic scenes. The two artists are the performers themselves, she with a perm, wig, and a neat dress, he in a small checked suit and hat. With irony and humor, the Blumes counteract gender patterns, roles, and clichés as well as bourgeois codes of behavior. Potatoes fly through the air, shards of broken plates are strewn over the kitchen floor, furniture constructions collapse, and people with distorted faces fiddle with all kinds of everyday objects. What the people in the pictures are doing is anything but conformist; it is crazy in the best sense of the word.

Anna and Bernhard Blume were involved in all facets of the artistic process themselves—from composing the images to taking the photos and developing and enlarging them in the lab. Their photo series satirizes the lower middle-class world of the 1970s and 1980s. The duo was largely inspired by the activism of the 1960s.

Anna and Bernhard Blume met as students at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where they both studied from 1960 to 1965. The pair lived and worked in Cologne. Their work has been shown in international museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Center Pompidou in Paris.

The exhibition at the Kunsthalle Krems presents large- and medium-format series of black and white photographs, complemented by a small selection of color Polaroids.

Curator: Andreas Hoffer

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