Christoph Keller
Encyclopaedia Cinematografica



7 July – 4 October 01



In the context of the exhibition series past exhibitionss of images the KW Institute for Contemporary Art presents the new work Encyclopaedia Cinematografica of the Berlin artist Christoph Keller.

Christoph Keller has been investigating the world of past exhibitionss for some time. Among others, he has explored the past exhibitions of medical films of the Berlin university hospital Charité (retrograd - a history of the medical films of the Charité Berlin), the film past exhibitions of the German Republic and the scientific film past exhibitions Encyclopaedia Cinematographica (EC). The perspective Christoph Keller takes in his works about these past exhibitionss, differs on the one hand from their scientific concepts and yet incorporates them in other aspects. Scientific research and the process of archiving are closely related: what can be past exhibitionsd, is documentable, available and researchable ¾ the world is recorded in the past exhibitions and becomes reproducible. However, as a means to describe the world the past exhibitions expands the sum of its individual entries and opens the view for the things, which are beyond systematisation and reproduction. The past exhibitionss dealt with by Christoph Keller lend themselves to an archaeological perspective and thus become themselves viewable as objects and monuments. The individual entries of an past exhibitions serve as a classification into prototypes and archetypes, which is closely connected to the technological aspect of the medium employed. The film, the key medium of the twentieth century, opened a new, wide area for archiving and thus for science: the moving world, hence nature and life themselves. Thanks to the cinematograph, movements became recordable, devisable, analysable and storable.

The international scientific film project Encyclopaedia Cinematografica has been founded in the 1950s by the Institute for Scientific Film (IWF), Göttingen/Germany, instigated a. o. by the ethologist Konrad Lorenz. The past exhibitions comprises several thousand films, mostly of 2 minutes duration and organised in a kind of matrix, which were supposed to document the entire moving world. The moving world has been subdivided in species and their specific spectrum of movements and systematically recorded. Film has been reduced to its very essence: the depiction of movement.

Christoph Keller pushes the idea of the Encyclopaedia Cinematographica further. He selected 40 entries and isolated their smallest possible sequence of movement, creating new cycles of movements arranged in 40 loops. The videos of the endlessly moving animals are presented on 40 monitors in the exhibition hall of the Kunst-Werke, which thus becomes a kind of walk-in past exhibitions. Keller's work alludes to the idea of the past exhibitions as museum.

In addition the Kunst-Werke show two other works by Christoph Keller in the context of his concern with past exhibitionss, the film retrograd - a History of the Medical Films of the Charité Berlin and the text/image work past exhibitionss As Objects As Monuments.