Sigmar Polke

Reader: Productive Image Interference
Sigmar Polke and Current Perspectives

Collected Texts on the Potential of Images

The images surrounding us don’t just show reality, but also help shape it—with all their transmission errors, lossiness, hacks, and other disruptions. Since almost every area of life has been digitized by now, we know that we can’t trust our eyes. Sigmar Polke (b. Oels, Lower Silesia, 1941; d. 2010 Cologne) already realized this back in the 1960s when he was working through the mass-media images of his time. Transferring and interfering, transforming and recoding became motifs and early trademarks of his raster images.

On the occasion of Polke’s 80th birthday, the Anna Polke Foundation shed light on the central aspect of image interference in Polke’s work and current artistic positions with a major anniversary project which consisted of an exhibition (Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, exhibition catalogue published by DISTANZ) and an online festival that explored the questions raised in the exhibition in greater depth while linking them to contemporary image discourses.

This book brings together the festival contributions by international scholars and artists such as Bice Curiger, Camille Henrot, Alexander Kluge, Sandra Neugärtner, Magnus Schäfer, Daniel Spaulding, who examine Polke’s work and its pictorial contexts in commentaries, conversations, or essays, while creating links to contemporary art production. These are supplemented with texts by Lilian Haberer, Adam Jasper, Franziska Kunze, among others, who highlight the inexhaustible potential of image interference, and not just for Polke’s art.

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