Hans-Peter Feldmann

Hans-Peter Feldmann

It's Always About Women

“80 per cent of artists are dealing with mother issues.” In this personal interview the internationally praised German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann muses on the magnetic power of women, and shares how he has used art as both escape and therapy.

“Make a job out of it and all is lost.” Feldmann does not consider being an artist to be his job, because considering it as such would smother his enthusiasm. Art, he feels, has been discredited by the sky-high sales through auction houses, which is a transaction between investors and collectors – not artists. But art simply should not be put on a pedestal: “Art is an ordinary part of life like sports, food and sleep.”

Images of women attract Feldmann, who claims that the majority of artists are dealing with mother issues: “It’s always about women, about mothers, images of women.” As an example, he points out how public toilets for men are similar to ancient caves with their many drawings of vulvas.

The repetitive function of collecting pictures is therapeutic to Feldmann, and makes things clear and tangible for him. Many artists use their art as a form of therapy, “as a flight to another world someone from the old world can’t access.” As for Feldmann, who too had mother-issues and grew up during the war and the post-war years, this was also the case: “… the images opened a world to me that was very, very lovely.”

Hans-Peter Feldmann (b. 1941) is a German visual conceptual artist, whose approach to art making is collecting, ordering, modifying and re-presenting e.g. photographs and paintings. He thereby frees them from their original social and historical context and enables the spectator to experience them anew. Moreover, Feldmann does not limit the number of editions of his work, nor does he sign them. His works include ‘All the Clothes of a Woman’, ‘Photographs Taken From Hotel Room Windows While Traveling’ and '11 Left Shoes'. He has also produced a number of publications, including the book ‘1967-1993 – Die Toten’, which contained reproductions of images from newspapers of all the lives lost due to the violence and terrorism in contemporary German history. Feldmann’s work has been exhibited at venues such as MoMA and International Center of Photography in New York and Simon Lee Gallery and Serpentine Galleries in London. In 2010 he was named winner of the eight biennial Hugo Boss Prize.

Hans-Peter Feldmann was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in connection to his exhibition ‘Paintings’ at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in April 2015.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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