Past exhibition

Julius Popp Transposition, Adolf Luther Art, Science, Technology
Haus Lange

Prize award and opening: 11 July, 2010, 11.30 a.m.
Introduction: Dr. Magdalena Broska, Adolf-Luther-Stiftung, Krefeld
Laudatio: Prof. Dr. Stephan Berg, Kunstmuseum Bonn

The Leipzig-based artist Julius Popp is to be awarded the seventh Art Prize of the Adolf Luther Foundation in Krefeld. The exhibition TRANSPOSITION on the ground floor of Museum Haus Lange features a selection of his work. Parallel to this, the Adolf Luther Foundation will mark its twentieth anniversary by an exhibition on the upper storey of Museum Haus Lange entitled ADOLF LUTHER ART, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY. The exhibitions are a cooperation between the Adolf Luther Foundation and the Kunstmuseen Krefeld.

Museum Haus Lange, ground floor

The Adolf Luther Foundation Prize, which comes with a purse of 5,000 euros plus a purchase, goes this year to the artist Julius Popp, who was born in 1973 in Nuremberg and currently resides in Leipzig.
Julius Popp's international breakthrough came with the installation bit-fall (2001/2006), a waterfall that produced letters and words in visual form. This work was introduced to an international audience in 2006 when it was presented at Art Basel. At the exhibition in Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, which is conceived of as an overview featuring major works by the artist from his bit series, micro series, and macro series, as well as new pieces such as Untitled (2010) from his bit series, it will be documented in a video. Using a computer programme based on a statistical algorithm, in bit-fall buzzwords are taken live, directly from the Internet and translated into sequences of dripping water. As Popp's other works bit-fall acts as a metaphor for the speed of the information flow and for the permanent mutability of knowledge and information.
The internet stores news and concepts, and spews them back out again in billions of new combinations. For this process of digital networking, which operates between the poles of dissolution and formation, Julius Popp finds visible forms and images in the analogue world of art. In his most recent works in the bit series (Untitled, 2010) he investigates how information spreads out in space. A machine lobs hundreds of ping-pong balls as bits, the smallest units of codified information, into the room, where they move about without any outside control. The formations of ping-pong balls, which initially could be reads as words, spread out chaotically in space. It is up to the visitor to gather the scattered information back together so as to maintain the ongoing data flow.
Likewise in the installation micro-perpendiculars (2008- 2011) the viewer is drawn in to an interactive game of moving forms. This piece consists of a series of capsules in which processors have been installed that react to various environmental influences: air currents, human motion in space, and also the movement of the other capsules. This leads to a flexible system of continual response, communication and adaptation. Developed for research purposes, the work will be exhibited in Krefeld as a work in progress.

Julius Popp studied from 1998 to 2005 at the Leipzig Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst and attended the master class run by Astrid Klein. Following on from prize-winners Andreas Slominski (1994), Michel Verjux (1996), Bethan Huws (1998), Stephen Craig (2002), Martin Boyce (2004) and Katja Strunz (2006), the award in 2010 to Julius Popp distinguishes an artist whose work takes a deep look at the ways in which digital culture manifests itself, while simultaneously creating a synthesis of artistic and scientific approaches.
In its remarks on the award of the prize to the artist, the Adolf Luther Foundation stated:
“The changes in culture, society and human behaviour wrought by the new information technologies is a topic of central importance to the work of Julius Popp. His large, room-filling installations using natural elements such as water, light and motion reveal facets of how we deal with and respond to information and information sources, and the structures that underlie them. In Popp's work, experimental artistic thought and practice, as well as a critical approach to our digital culture, are combined in a compellingly sensual way with the aesthetic model of art.”

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Museum Haus Lange, upper storey

To mark its twentieth anniversary, the Adolf Luther Foundation will augment the exhibition of award-winner Julius Popp by a show in Haus Lange featuring selected works by the Krefeld light artist Adolf Luther (1912- 1990).
Of all the artists who bade farewell to the panel painting in the early 1960s, Adolf Luther was one of the most radical. Glass, metal, mirrors, lenses, lasers and smoke were all equally part of the means he used for an art that spelt a sweeping rejection of the painted picture. Luther's Light Art was a reaction to the crisis in the painting; to the picture of reality that been made to totter by technology and scientific innovations. “I don't mean … light that produces colours but light when it is still energy.” As the artist once clarified. Backed by the theory of light developed by Planck and Einstein, which states that light is a substance that moves through space as either waves or corpuscles, Luther set out to tap the realms of energetic reality for his art. Already in the 1960s Luther devised installations using concave mirrors, lasers, and prisms in dialogue with scientists, technicians and engineers from industry, and was thus quick to step beyond the narrow bounds of the artist's discipline.
The exhibition in Krefeld's Museum Haus Lange emphasises Luther's scientific approach and shows his familiar light objects and spatial installations together with drafts, diagrams, citations and letters.
Apart from his classic light objects made with concave mirrors, whose powers of reflection create a luminous phenomenality that extends out before the objects into real space, spatial installations will be shown in which smoke becomes a medium for light.
In his “Focussierender Raum” (“Focussing Room” 1968) 41 concave mirrors lie on the floor, lit up by spotlights from the ceiling. The moment smoke enters the cones of light the focal points become visible. “An energetic sculpture comes into being. It is an ethereal configuration of changeability and evanescence.”
(Adolf Luther) c In his “Laser-Raum” (“Laser Room”, 1970) a laser beam alights on a slowly rotating perspex disk that is linked with a plain mirror. It dissolves into linear rays that articulate the space in all its three-dimensions. And the smoke makes the laser glow a ruby red.
In his moon project Festival 2000 (1976) Luther hit on the idea of extending the light-filled space out into the cosmos: an installation that envisaged using mirror satellites to place a dot of light on the dark side of the moon that would be visible to the entire world. Both the designs for this project as well as the installations can now be experienced anew on the top floor of Museum Haus Lange.