Anselm Kiefer/ “The Cauterization of the Rural District of Buchen”






Grey in grey, dark in dark, step by step, walking.
Winter day, barren tree, black soil, villages marked with a pencil.

Nothing else to do, he is just taking a walk.

He knows his way around; it’s his home country.
(Nobody else would take a walk in this everyday nothingness.)
He knows the fields, he knows the trees, he knows the roads.

He knows the shortcuts.

Somebody is burning old leaves, is burning junk.
No fire to see, just smoke.

He smells it in the clam, cold air.

Anselm Kiefers “The Cauterization of the Rural District of Buchen” could be the visual match some melancholic piece of music without words. The world is as you feel about it, and on some days, the world is grey and dark.

Since Caspar David Friedrich, nature can be seen in art serving as a mirror, reflecting the inner feelings of human beings. Thus you could define Anselm Kiefers work, as a descendant of German romanticism.

But our perception of nature has changed since Caspar David Friedrich: we know about the danger of destruction nature is subjected to. The persons seen from behind, contemplating the view as painted by Friedrich, this person is replaced by Kiefer through crumbling human artifacts or debris.

A photograph is a window you are meant to be looking through, as to see what you are meant to see.

The photographic print has to be clean; it has to be immaculate, as often photographs are designed as to be clean and to be immaculate in the search of perfection.

This cleanliness of photography and the whole process that requires cleanliness I always felt as a burden, and I like Anselm Kiefers ways to break the unspoken rules of photography.

“The artist (photgrapher)should paint (photograph) not only what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him. If, however, he sees nothing within him, then he should also refrain from painting that which he sees before him. Otherwise, his pictures will be like those folding screens behind which one expects to find only the sick or the dead.”

Caspar David Friedrich, quoted from Wikipedia