Martin Kippenberger: The Happy End of Franz Kafka's 'Amerika' – part 1: Introduction

Introduction

Held on the late Martin Kippenberger’s birthday, this afternoon symposium responds to the artist’s satirical final work, The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ 1994. Kippenberger’s vast installation references Kafka’s unfinished novel, in which the protagonist, Karl Rossmann, having travelled across America, navigates an immense employment recruiting centre, ‘the biggest theatre in the world’. Arranged on a reconstructed football field, the installation is comprised of work by other artists including Jason Rhoades, Tony Oursler and Donald Judd; classic twentieth-century furniture by designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Marcel Breuer; remnants from Kippenberger’s previous exhibitions; and flea market acquisitions. The work is an absurd and touching testament to the vulnerability of the individual within the power dynamics of the social order. Reflecting Kippenberger’s belief in the fundamental importance of relationships and dialogues, his final work also provides a witty critique of the position of the artist at the end of the twentieth century. The participants in the symposium include Daniel Baumann, Michael Krebber, Martin Prinzhorn and Dorothea von Hantelmann.

Martin Kippenberger: The Happy End of Franz Kafka's 'Amerika' – part 3: Dorothea von Hantelmann

Dorothea von Hantelmann

Dorothea von Hantelmann is an art historian, freelance writer and curator, based in Berlin. She is part of the collaborative research project Performative Cultures at the Free University Berlin and has curated various art exhibitions as well as art/theatre-projects. Among her publications are monographical essays on Daniel Buren, Jeff Koons and Pierre Huyghe, as well as writings on the subject of performativity and politics in contemporary art.

Held on the late Martin Kippenberger’s birthday, this afternoon symposium responds to the artist’s satirical final work, The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ 1994.

Martin Kippenberger: The Happy End of Franz Kafka's 'Amerika' – part 4: Martin Prinzhorn

Martin Kippenberger: The Happy End of Franz Kafka's 'Amerika' – part 5: Discussion

Discussion

Held on the late Martin Kippenberger’s birthday, this afternoon symposium responds to the artist’s satirical final work, The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ 1994. Kippenberger’s vast installation references Kafka’s unfinished novel, in which the protagonist, Karl Rossmann, having travelled across America, navigates an immense employment recruiting centre, ‘the biggest theatre in the world’. Arranged on a reconstructed football field, the installation is comprised of work by other artists including Jason Rhoades, Tony Oursler and Donald Judd; classic twentieth-century furniture by designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Marcel Breuer; remnants from Kippenberger’s previous exhibitions; and flea market acquisitions. The work is an absurd and touching testament to the vulnerability of the individual within the power dynamics of the social order. Reflecting Kippenberger’s belief in the fundamental importance of relationships and dialogues, his final work also provides a witty critique of the position of the artist at the end of the twentieth century.The participants in the symposium include Daniel Baumann, Michael Krebber, Martin Prinzhorn and Dorothea von Hantelmann.

Held on the late Martin Kippenberger’s birthday, this afternoon symposium responds to the artist’s satirical final work, The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’ 1994. Kippenberger’s vast installation references Kafka’s unfinished novel, in which the protagonist, Karl Rossmann, having travelled across America, navigates an immense employment recruiting centre, ‘the biggest theatre in the world’. Arranged on a reconstructed football field, the installation is comprised of work by other artists including Jason Rhoades, Tony Oursler and Donald Judd; classic twentieth-century furniture by designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Marcel Breuer; remnants from Kippenberger’s previous exhibitions; and flea market acquisitions. The work is an absurd and touching testament to the vulnerability of the individual within the power dynamics of the social order. Reflecting Kippenberger’s belief in the fundamental importance of relationships and dialogues, his final work also provides a witty critique of the position of the artist at the end of the twentieth century.The participants in the symposium include Daniel Baumann, Michael Krebber, Martin Prinzhorn and Dorothea von Hantelmann.