Elle's laboratory of knowledge
An exhibition of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation

From June 1 to June 16, 2024 at the Hamburg creative planet JUPITER!

Klaus Elle describes himself as an "artist in a laboratory of knowledge" and a "field worker of change". Since the late 1970s, he has created an extensive and overwhelming oeuvre in photography, painting and sculpture, which inexplicably remains largely undiscovered. A survey exhibition at JUPITER on Mönckebergstraße (formerly: Karstadt Sport) now presents central themes in Klaus Elle's oeuvre in series of works, photographic installations and striking individual works. The exhibition title is programmatic, as Elle's work promises knowledge through self-experimentation for everyone.

The artist explores the existential questions of humanity and refers in particular to the challenges of the multi-informative era of the present day: Who am I? What is the construction of my identity? Who are the others and what influence does culture have on my existence? How do I process and organize the vast amounts of information from all media channels in a meaningful way? And finally: where does our rationality end and how do I find contemporary approaches to the eternal mysteries of our existence – the big question of a contemporary spirituality.

Klaus Elle has covered steel steles and glass throne seats with thousands of photographs of the microcosm and macrocosm. The works created in this way, "Bewussteinsseinsverstärker" or "Initiationsstuhl", are expansive, walk-in installations that invite the viewer to engage aesthetically and spiritually with the situation between the views of cell nuclei and spiral nebulae.

In many of his works, Klaus Elle moves associatively and fearlessly between such extreme poles: his large-format "world pictures", developed on the floor of the studio, symbolically depict procreation and death, science and cult, culture and nature. His self-portraits measure the structure of the self and the universe. For Klaus Elle, photography is the material and source material for his artistic work. He uses his own photographs and "found photography" on an equal footing for installations, collages and montages. Photographic prints are scratched, painted over, processed, built into constructions made of wood, glass and organic materials; photographic chemistry is used like oil paint and photographic prints serve as canvas.

The vernissage of the exhibition will take place on Friday, May 31 at 7 pm. The opening will be accompanied by an interactive musical performance by the SPIIC*-ensemble (ligeti zentrum/artistic research lab.) under the direction of Vlatko Kučan. Admission is free!


Kreativplanet JUPITER
Mönckebergstraße 2-4
20095 Hamburg

From June 1 to 16, 2024
Mon-Thu 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Wed-Sat 10 a.m. to midnight
Sun 10 am to 6 pm

Program accompanying the exhibition:
Sat 01.06./4:00 pm  LECTURE Klaus Elle: "My karmic theater" / The joyful play with one's own identity / Klaus Elle's portrait overpaintings from 4 decades
Mon 03.06/6:00 pm  LECTURE Klaus Elle: "The artist as a moderator of complex systems" / Creativity as an inspiring force in change processes or "What would Beuys do today?"
Tue 04.06./6:00 pm  GUIDED TOUR Sebastian Lux and Franziska Mecklenburg, curators of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation
Tue 11.06./6:00 pm  READING Martin Häusler: "Unsere entscheidenden Jahre" / A courageous and astute reckoning with global corporations / What we must do now
Thu 13.06./6:00 pm  LECTURE Boris Eldagsen: "How does AI influence the field of human creativity and what intellectual strategies are necessary to make meaningful use of this extended creative tool?" / Followed by a discussion with Klaus Elle.

*The acronym SPIIC+ stands for Social Performance, Interdisciplinary Improvisation and Creativity and is a sub-project of the new ligeti center in Hamburg. As part of the artistic research lab, SPIIC+ explores artistic-creative processes and forms of social interaction in a trans-disciplinary approach. Since its foundation in 2018, the SPIIC-ensemble has been involved in numerous projects, concerts and festivals. It has received international acclaim for its performances at the "Bauforum Magistralen" (Hamburg, 2019), "TENOR 2021 - International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation" (Hamburg, 2021) and "WAC2022 - International Web Audio Conference" (2022, Cannes), where the SPIIC-ensemble performed the highly acclaimed closing concerts.