May 14, 2014, 6:30PM

Siltbreezes and German Spectres / Image Scavengers (1982) and Investigations 28: Martin Kippenberger (1989)


What would it mean to claim prolific German artist Martin Kippenberger as a designer? That provocative question was the hook on which designer/writer Mark Owens hung his lecture, Conjuring Kippenberger, a distilled and dynamic presentation of a chapter from his forthcoming book, Graphics Incognito: Design, Material Culture, and Post-punk Aesthetics. Opening an evening of ideas and music linked through Kippenberger’s rough anti-aesthetic, Owens’s lecture described how central books were to his subject’s life—and death. Kippenberger started life as a printer, and the first posthumous presentation of his work was a display of his books in the window of his publisher, Walther König. His first solo US museum exhibition was held at ICA in 1989, and, in another example of the overlap or ambiguity of his role, he not only designed the show’s poster but also signed copies using various signatures and pseudonyms. After Owens’s lecture, the audience filtered into the lobby for music by two bands selected for the occasion by Siltbreeze record label founder Tom Lax, who also gave personal tours of the microexhibition Siltbreeze / Image Scavengers (1982) (part of ICA@50), a presentation of his label’s ephemera. Empanadas, beer, and red wine were sampled amid the scent of incense and the sounds of Far-Out Fangtooth and Watery Love.
Investigations 28: Martin KippenbergerImage Scavengers: PaintingImage Scavengers: PhotographyICA@50: Pleasing Artists And Publics Since 1963Siltbreeze / Image Scavengers (1982)ICA@50