Christian Saehrendt: The Radical Absence of Ronny Läpplinger
Tue, 07.02.2012, 8 pm CET
Following years of a wild artists' life in Hamburg and London, Ronald Läpplinger has returned to his native Swabia. At 47 he now once again resides with his mother in Böblingen, in the room under the eaves he used to occupy as a youth. Prostrate on his bed, he listens to Death Metal whilst stoned and nibbling on Cointreau-filled chocolates; a state of flawless regression. And the same holds for art: under the pseudonym RON.EGOXL, the former radical Performance and Concept artist now paints portraits of the owners of medium-sized companies as well murals for restaurants in styles one may be inclined to benignly tag "Clement Provincial Realism". And, what is more, Ronny is hopelessly in love with an employee of the local bank who happens to be his sister-in-law.
And yet, quite literally with a bang, everything turns out differently!

Treating a perennially contemporary problematic area in artistic production, namely, the question of success and failure, of happiness and unhappiness in the life of an artist, "The Radical Absence of Ronny Läpplinger" is the first tragicomic novel by art historian Dr. Phil. Christian Saehrendt. Narrated in the apparently authentic autobiographic form of a diary, the story relates of how an artist originally from a southern German province, following a promising beginning in the international art business, is all of a sudden ignored; he is condemned to endure everyday life in the provinces with a mixture of despair and sardonic humor until, finally, pulling himself up from his bootstraps, he contrives to break out of his identity crisis as a prelude to celebrating his comeback at the dOCUMENTA 13. The novel, which, in part, takes place in the near future, offers a foretaste of the collateral event, the dOCUMENTA 13, which we anticipate in Kassel this year.

Saehrendt received his PhD from the Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, with the thesis "Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Bohème-Identität und nationale Sendung" (2002) and is author, among others, of titles such as "Das kann ich auch! Gebrauchsanweisung für moderne Kunst" and "Geier am Grabe van Goghs", which he co-authored with Steen Kittl. In "Die radikale Absenz des Ronny Läpplinger" (WALDE+GRAF Verlag), Saehrendt combines his profound knowledge of art and the art business with his talent as a satirist. The author lives at Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland.

The reading will be moderated by Sebastian Baden from the faculty of Art and Media Theory, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.

Drinks will be served after the reading.
Organization / Institution
Literarische Gesellschaft Karlsruhe

ZKM ; HfG | Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe ; Adam Seide Archiv