Markus Keibel

Markus Keibel
Teaser Image Caption
Markus Keibel

Markus Keibel burns books. What seems like a counter-revolutionary act of censorship, is the “formation of a new discussion site for the questioning of our changed reading behaviour in the digital age” to the artist. Continuously enticed by Google and Wikipedia to search for cross-references, thereby diverging further from the actual content of what was read, he realized, based on his own reading behaviour, that it was hard for him to concentrate on a specific text. To spark a discussion, he developed the idea of burning the old medium book as a cremation of a remnant of times passed. The choice of books is founded on the Index librorum prohibitum published by the Catholic Church in 1559, and pursued until 1965, when it was abandoned in the face of the floods of books that were published. There are a total of 600,000 books on this index. Markus Keibel concentrates on the books about Enlightenment and humanism from the list of Opus dei, in which 6,000 books are still listed. 

For “Rohkunstbau” Markus Keibel burned eighteen volumes of the 2005 edition of the Brockhaus encyclopedia. He mixed the resulting ashes with acrylic, and used half of them in two drip-paintings. In varying intensity, black and grey lines stretch vertically across the unprimed canvas. The second half of ashes was used to colour eighteen glass crucibles; each crucible represented one volume of the encyclopedia. The jars stand symmetrically next to each other in a metal frame in front of the terrace of the castle. The sculpture has something of a laboratory, its appearance is somewhat like a supersized test tube rack. With Markus Keibel’s criticism of digital reading he makes mockery of the destructive act of burning books. Instead he turns it into something rebellious and revolutionary, and creates a platform for discussion and the critical scrutiny of our own reading behaviour and intake of information. In relation to Wagners “Siegfried” the behaviour of the hero changes when the blood of Fafner touches his tongue, enabling him to hear the sounds of the forest that open his eyes.


2014         BruteForce, Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2012         mind on fire, Artary, Stuttgart, Germany
2010         Freiheit - Özgürlük, Goethe Institut Izmir, Turkey
2005         Die Unruhe des Werdens, Kunstverein Pforzheim, Germany
1994         Innen wie außen, Galerie Achim Kubinski, Stuttgart, Germany

2013        no more heroes anymore, Salon Hansa, Berlin, Germany
2010        Port Izmir 2_silence storm, Izmir, Turkey
2005        Sesler, gecyle, büyüyenler, Borusan Sanat Galerisi, Istanbul, Turkey
2002        Magische Expeditionen, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany
1995        Stazione Venezia, Venice, Italy

Sammlung Graebner, Berlin, Germany
Sammlung Wobbe, Hamburg, Germany
Sammlung Caspar, Stuttgart, Germany