In conjunction with the exhibition Alibis: Sigmar Polke, this evening brings together rarely seen films about Sigmar Polke. Key films by contemporaries reveal the artistic community in Düsseldorf in the 1960s and 1970s where Polke made his early work alongside Manfred Kuttner, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Konrad Lueg (later known as Konrad Fischer) and Lutz Mommartz. Later works from a younger generation, including Britta Zoellner’s film made with Astrid Heibach and 2014 Turner Prize nominee Duncan Campbell, show the continuing influence of Polke’s work.
Manfred Kuttner was part of the close artistic community in Düsseldorf in the 1960s and organised with Polke, Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg the first show of ‘German Pop Art’ in a former butchers shop in 1962. Kuttner’s film A-Z 1963 traverses the city from his apartment to his studio featuring both Polke and Richter. Lutz Mommartz featured Polke as a performer in various films and installations including The Beautiful Sigmar 1971 that takes place at a New Year’s Eve at artist Christof Kohlhöfer's house and features appearances from Blinky Palermo and other artists from the vibrant art scene of the time. Britta Zoellner’s The Rainbow Serpent 1980-81/2013, edited with Astrid Heibach, was made from footage recorded while travelling with Polke in Singapore, Indonesia, Papua, Australia, Tasmania, Thailand and Malaysia in 1980–81. Duncan Campbell’s film Sigmar made in 2008 is a playful homage to the artist.
Listen to the dicussion:
Manfred Kuttner A-Z, West Germany 1963, 8mm transferred to 16mm, colour and black & white, 3.26 min
Lutz Mommartz The Beautiful Sigmar / Der schöne Sigmar West Germany 1971, 8mm film transferred to video, colour, silent, 25 min
Britta Zollner with Astrid Heibach The Rainbow Serpent: Enter a New Inner Space, a New Inner Time, West Germany 1980–81/2013, 8mm film transferred to video, colour, silent, 32 min
Duncan Campbell, Sigmar, UK 2008, Super 16mm film, colour, sound, 10 min
Programme duration: 102 min