Holger Wüst

FutureGreat 2014, selected by Tobias Rehberger

By Tobias Rehberger

Holger Wüst, ZEKHER (Part two, the commodity labour-power) (installation view, Frankfurter Kunstverein), 2010. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel & the artist. Courtesy the artist

Holger Wüst is an artist who lives and works in Offenbach, a city right beside Frankfurt am Main. He studied at the well-known Städelschule in Frankfurt. For years he has worked on very large format black-and-white collages of found photographs. He mounts these photographs on relatively wide walls so that they become almost mega-cinemascopesize pictures.

Wüst also converts these photographs into extremely striking, poetic films of high technical quality. The camera slowly moves over these massive ‘landscapes’, zooming in and out. Sometimes it zooms so deeply into the image that you can read single pages of a book, such as Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, which in the larger image appear as only a tiny detail.

All of these collaged details seem to be compiled into allegorical images concerning utopia and the history of revolution. Indeed Wüst’s work circles around the world of political imagery, leftish philosophy and practice. However, the amazing thing is that he is able to overlap this with a kind of almost surreal beauty and melancholic poetry. Wüst’s use of the political creates a poetic language that finally lets one believe that political art is possible after all, rather than being simply an abuse of poetry or other aesthetics.

Personally, I find it hard to understand why Holger Wüst is so little known outside of this regional context. I think his work is fantastic.

Originally published in the March 2014 FutureGreats issue, in association with EFG International