Dieter Meier. Possible Beings 1973 – 2016

17 Sep 2016 – 29 Oct 2016

Galerie Judin

Berlin, Germany


Save Event: Dieter Meier. Possible Beings 1973 – 2016

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Galerie Judin is pleased to pre­sent its first collab­o­ra­tion with leg­endary artist, musi­cian (“Yello”), writer and cosmopoli­tan Dieter Meier.


The exhi­bi­tion Pos­si­ble Beings 1973—2016 brings together works that span more than 40 years of his artis­tic career. The exhi­bi­tion is accompa­nied by a lim­ited edi­tion, a two-vol­ume pub­lica­tion.

Meier launched him­self as a con­ceptual artist in 1968 with actions pre­sented in pub­lic spaces. In 1970, his short movie 1 Minute interrupted the reg­u­lar programming of Swiss pub­lic tele­vi­sion: for one minute, the artist’s motion­less head appeared—accompa­nied only by the offi­cial time signal. Report­edly, the audi­ence was deeply dis­turbed. Con­ceptual pie­ces such as this conveyed Meier’s sub­tle and humor­ous exam­ina­tion of the ephemeral nature of film and the volatil­ity of human exis­tence.

Around the same time, Meier turned to con­ceptual photog­ra­phy. In 1972, snapshots and other doc­u­ments of an indi­vid­ual by the name of Thomas Mat­tes emerged. This marked the be­gin­ning of Meier’s ongo­ing pre­occupa­tion with ready-made per­sonas, who unsurpris­ingly bear a striking resem­blance to the artist him­self.

The most comprehen­sive se­ries to der­ive from this practice is Per­son­al­i­ties, made between 1973 and 1974. Relying solely upon var­i­a­tions in his facial expres­sions, hairstyles, pos­tures, and cloth­ing, Meier had him­self photographed as 48 differ­ent per­son­al­i­ties. Despite the fact that his vis­age always peeks through the dozens of incar­na­tions, the sheer number of them eventu­ally wipes away any embrace of him as a unique indi­vid­ual. Instead, the per­son­al­i­ties, over time, have devel­oped a life of their own. In the se­ries As Time Goes By (2005) and Pos­si­ble Beings (2016), Meier returned to the orig­inal Per­son­al­i­ties and pro­vided a selec­tion of them with updated appear­ances and biogra­phies. In the years to come, he plans to call upon the remain­ing char­ac­ters to explore their pos­si­ble life sto­ries.

Recent museum ret­ro­spec­tives of Meier’s con­ceptual art have been pre­sented by the Water­mill Center on Long Island, in New York, the Deichtorhallen/Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg, and the Aargauer Kun­sthaus in Aarau.

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Exhibiting artists

Dieter Meier


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