Writing and Image

Artists of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries devise unusual ways to integrate writing into their works. Fascinated by the shapes of the letters, they create alphabets in which the bodies of humans and animals stand in for the strokes of the pen. Dialogues, legends, and titles on banderoles bring images to life and help the beholder make sense of them. These elements appear in portraits and depictions of biblical scenes, but also in illustrations of historic events. The exhibition showcases selected eminent works from the Kupferstichkabinett to shed light on the multifaceted interplay between writing and image.

The Book

Bob Brown (1886-1959) was convinced in the early 1930s: “Books are antiquated word containers” – and although he was already of the opinion at the time that books were outdated, the prophecies of the death of the medium have not been fulfilled to this day. Again and again, artists expand our idea of what can still be considered a book. Must it be bound? Printed? Consist of paper?

Cyprien Gaillard Roots Canal

Cyprien Gaillard (1980 ) describes and evokes the perpetual destruction, preservation, and reconstruction of urban spaces with films, photographs, and sculptures, His works capture the incessant transformation of the urban landscape, as well as that of nature and humankind. Gaillard stresses that construction and destruction are not contradictory concepts, they are two sides of the same process. In order to erect new buildings, it is necessary to accept the disappearance of what already exists, be it a landscape, another building or no-man’sland. The construction of the new always involves the destruction of what went before.