Image: 8-teilige Sequenz aus der Aktion: Membran-Objekt
(Niemegk, Germany, 1935 - )

8-teilige Sequenz aus der Aktion: Membran-Objekt (Eight-part Sequence from the Aktion: "Membran Objekt") , 1977-1979 (printed 2005)

Eight gold toned gelatin silver prints in wood frames
79 in. x 98 in. (200.66 cm x 248.92 cm)
Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media
2005.15 a-h
Dieter Appelt, who spent twenty years as an opera singer before becoming a visual artist, creates “Aktions,” or performances for his camera using his own body as a sculptural medium. Undergoing these experiences, he accesses elemental states of physical and emotional being that he shares through series of photographs. To create this sequence, Appelt enclosed his body in a sculpture he called the “Membrane-Object,” protecting and entrapping himself. Caked in marble dust, the sculpture’s color and cracked surface suggest decay and death. Appelt may be alluding to “dust unto dust” or to personal memory—after World War II, the artist and his family returned to their farm to find decomposing bodies of soldiers, covered with dirt, in their fields.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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