Anselm Kiefer

Velimir Khlebnikov: Fates of Nations: The New Theory of War. Time, Dimension of the World, Battles at Sea Occur Every 317 Years or Multiples Thereof, Namely 317 x 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 . . . . . . . . 2011-14

Private collection . Photo courtesy Royal Academy of Arts. Photography: James Harris / © Anselm Kiefer

+ The Royal Academy of Arts . photos: CUBO ET EXCUBO

Anselm Kiefer often dedicates his works to intriguing figures of the past, be they poets or philosophers. This piece is one of a number of works emerging from Kiefer’s ongoing exploration of the Russian Futurist avant-garde writer, theorist and absurdist Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922).After years of study, Khlebnikov concluded that a major sea battle took place every 317 years, or multiples thereof. Kiefer celebrates this heroic and ludicrous activity with a work that is both monument and anti-monument. Measuring almost 17 metres in total and consisting of two large glass vitrines, Kiefer creates a transparent, reflective sea-scape in three dimensions that calls to mind the Romantic sublime of painters from JMW Turner to Caspar David Friedrich. Kiefer uses the frames of the vitrines to stage a mysterious drama, in which viewers, seeing each other and their own reflections, become participants.
The Royal Academy of Arts









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