This book has been published in conjunction with the series of exhibitions initiated by Erwin Wortelkamp in 1009 and title “hier und dort” (here and there). As with the three previous editions, the “here” refers to the two exhibition halls of the “im Tal – Wortelkamp Foundation” in Hasselbach and Weyerbusch. The “there” stands this time for “Haus Beda” and “Hamm Castle” in Bitburg.
The book is not to be understood as a classical exhibition catalogue, although it does in fact include several installation views from each venue. The fact that it does not represent a complete documentation of the works displayed in the Westerwald and Eifel regions means that greater attention can be paid to one of the central motifs in the work of Erwin Wortelkamp, namely standing and walking.
For perhaps the first time ever, the intrinsic links between the work phases of the early 1960s hitherto perceived as separate and distinct from one another can now be clearly discerned. Even for those who have followed the artist’s works for many years will be surprised by the coherency of the combination of the classical sculptures and highly politicized actions presented here, as is evidenced by the radical juxtaposition of a single wooden sculpture with a “Meditational Cabin” in the “House for Art”.
Wortelkamp’s work of the past decades proves to be no less politically informed than his activities of the early 1970s. The early drawings, sculptures and actions take on new meaning in the contemporary context and lead to a reinterpretation of his most recent works. Wortelkamp thus takes his place among other “rediscoveries” of artistic positions from the 1970s, whose relevance for contemporary artists has only been recognized in the past few years. (Jörg van den Berg)