Jürgen Klauke

Jürgen Klauke

Jürgen Klauke is one of the key figures in German contemporary art history. Since the 1970s, the artist has pioneered photography as a tool to question and investigate gender and identity questions. In unyielding ways, his own body is used as a central medium of expression for his elaborate theatrically staged photographs. The figures in these scenes seem frozen and do not refer to themselves; they have left the sphere of all subjective moods to fill a more objective one. Using a provocative aesthetic, these tableaux explore eroticism and transvestite issues, as part of a larger interest in emotionality and intellect as instruments of analysis, representation and interpretation of identity and gender.

In Selfperformance, a tableau composed of 13 different elements from 1972/73, Klauke becomes the medium of transvestite transformation. In this work, the artist plays with different prosthetic elements, grows breasts, enacts the role of a bride and finally completes the sex change by exhibiting a vagina. Transformer (1973) is an icon within this search.

Another privileged subject matter in Klauke’s ouevre is his exploration of the schizophrenic artificial division between private and public roles. Verschleierung (1973) is a vehement example of this representation of the struggle between individualization and society’s impositions. This sketch of the paradoxical, the bizarre, and the excessive addresses the unconscious of the viewer himself. This playfulness is especially evident in Dr. Mueller, produced in 1977. The underlying yet increasing violence reaches a peak in his 1977 tableau Konfrontation. This idea of struggle, aggression and transformation throughout time translates also very well in his tableau Rein-Raus from 1976. In this work a business man wearing female lingerie is attacked by his own suppressed desires and changes gender by the end of the process. These carefully constructed photographs combine elements of personal experience with ritualized action in sequences which address both the sociological and psychoanalytical structures which command our reality.

Thus, the booth presentation brings forth a feeling of performance and cinematography, playing with the multiplication of photos and the enactments they depict. Very few artists have a conceptual approach that can be compared with Klaukes artistic concept. The use of series has been long pursued since the first Happenings and Fluxus activities, but its main function here is to objectify one’s own existence in reality, to define perception and locate the self in space and time. In this way, Klauke makes a pioneering contribution to the approach of the medium of photography known as staged photography, and succeeds in exploring the problem of identity and in focusing on basic questions of the existential and social reality. It has been pointed out that Klauke is one of the few artists who are able to make the human condition his theme without falling into an expressive gesture of activism, still his most important contribution lies in his vigorous search into the question of gender and identity.

12.03.2022 – 29.08.2024
Traver la nuit
Oevres de la collection A. de Galbert
Av. Brasília, Belém
PRT – 130–598 Lissabon

08.05.2022 – 31.01.2024
Neupräsentation der Sammlung
Kunstmuseum Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 2
53113 Bonn

18.02.2022 – 18.02.2024
Hamburger Kunsthalle
Glockengiesserwall 5
20095 Hamburg

07.11.2021 – 06.03.2022
Fotografie-Forum der StädteRegion Aachen
Austraße 9
52156 Monschau

23.03.2020 – 16.08.2020
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Grabbeplatz 4
40213 Düsseldorf

29.04.2020 – 27.09.2020
6 U L
GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst
Johannisplatz 5–11
04103 Leipzig

02.02.2020 – 26.04.2020
Dancing Machines
FRAC Franche-Comté
2, passage des arts.
25000 Besançon cedex

29.11.2019 – 20.09.2020
Body Performance
Helmut Newton Foundation
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin

05.09.2019 – 05.01.2020
Age of you – The Extreme Self
Museum of Contemporary Art
158 Sterling Rd.
CA-ON M6R 2B2 Toronto

01.09.2019 – 24.11.2019
Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen
Grabbeplatz 4
D-40213 Düsseldorf

06.09.2019 – 13.10.2019
dem Rand am fernsten, am weitesten innen /  Intimität in der Medienkunst
Neuer Kunstraum Düsseldorf
Himmelgeister Str. 107 E
D-40225 Düsseldorf

09.11.2019 – 15.03.2020
Der montierte Mensch
Museum Folkwang
Museumsplatz 1
D-45128 Essen

19.06.2019 – 25.08.2019
Writing the history of the Future II
ZKM Karlsruhe 
Lorenzstraße 19
D-76135 Karlsruhe

29.06.2019 – 29.09.2019
Face it! Im Selbstgespräch mit dem Anderen
Kunstmuseum Ravensburg
Burgstraße 9
D-88212 Ravensburg

27.04.2019 – 28.07.2019
La collection Antoine de Galbert
Musée de Grenoble
5, place Lavalette
F-38000 Grenoble

31.03.2019 – 03.11.2019
„Mehrfach einmalig!“ – Das Multiple
Ausstellungshaus Spoerri
Hauptplatz 23
A-3493 Hadersdorf am Kamp

21.03.2019 – 02.06.2019
Kunstmuseum Bonn
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2
D-53113 Bonn

208.12.2018 – 10.03.2019
Menschenskinder – Portraitfotografie aus der Sammlung SpallArt
Städtische Galerie Rosenheim
Max-Bram-Platz 2
D-83022 Rosenheim

04.1.2018 – 10.02.2019
Magie und Ritual
Museum Villa Rot
Schlossweg 2
D-88483 Burgrieden – Rot

23.09.2018 – 06.01.2019
Komödie des Daseins – Kunst und Humor von der Antike bis heute
Kunsthaus Zug
Dorfstrasse 27
CH-6301 Zug

28.09.2018 – 04.11.2018
Egon Schiele.
Die Jubiläumsschau – RELOADED
Leopold Museum
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Wien

13.09.2018 -09.11.2018
Deutscher Künstlerbund Projektraum
Markgrafenstraße 67
10969 Berlin

05.05.2018 – 07.10.2018
Warum Kunst?
Kunsthalle Weishaupt
Hans-und-Sophie-Scholl-Platz 1
89073 Ulm

03.05.2018 – 14.06.2018
Vernissage on 02.05.2018, 6 pm
Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften und Künste
Palmenstraße 16
40217 Düsseldorf
Jürgen Klauke – Arbeiten auf Papier
Published in Germen
80 pages
ISBN-13: 9783929270020
Published by Kunstverein Braunschweig




Jürgen Klauke – Selbstgespräche
Published in Germen
207 pages
ISBN-13: 9783868323818
Published by Wienand Verlag




Jürgen Klauke – Ästhetische Paranoia
Published in English
220 pages
ISBN-13: 978-3775725941
Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag




Jürgen Klauke – Absolute Windstille
Published in German
367 pages
ISBN-10: 9783775710121
Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag




Jürgen Klauke – Im Gespräch mit Hans-Michael Herzog und Gerhard Johann
Published in Germen
117 pages
ISBN-13: 9783462026696
Published by Kieperheuer & Witsch




Jürgen Klauke – Stephen Heros
ISBN-13: 9783925881312
Published by Galerie Hermeyer




Jürgen Klauke – Eine Ewigkeit ein Lächeln
Published in Germen
292 pages
ISBN-13: 9783770119851
Published by DuMont Reiseverlag




Jürgen Klauke – Zeitlebens
Published in Germen
Published by Verlag Constantin Post




Jürgen Klauke – Fotosequenzen 1972-1980
Published in Germen
ISBN-13: 9783921818213
Published by Betzel




Jürgen Klauke – Formalisierung der Langeweile
Published in Germen
327 pages
ISBN-13: 9783792706268
Published by Rheinland Verlag, Köln, 1981




Jürgen Klauke about Hans Bellmer’s etchings

monopol magazine,  04/21

p. 34

Jürgen Klauke – The Gender-Pioneer (Interview by Sandra Danicke)

art – Das Kunstmagazin, 03/21

p. 62 – 70