Opening: Reinhard Döhl / Helmut Heißenbüttel / Konrad Balder Schäuffelen
Orange lettering "Poetic Expansions" on a white background
As part of the »Poetic Expansions« series
Wed, July 26, 2017 7 pm CEST, Opening

With »Reinhard Döhl: Everything is Possible. Anything Goes.«»Helmut Heißenbüttel: writing collecting sending« und »Konrad Balder Schäuffelen: sprache ist fuer wahr ein koerper« the second three exhibitions of the »Poetic Expansions« series open on July 26, 2017, at the ZKM. They show the extensive and diverse poetic and literary work of the artists.

In the 1960s, they were among the artists, who expanded literature around the term of »media«: On the run from letters and their products, books, they dealt poetically with the linearity and materiality of writing, released letters from the force of narration and put them back together again using their own design principles. They resisted the inertia of language and thought and make a crucial contribution to designing the European art world of the 1960s.

The aim of the »Poetic Expansions« series of exhibitions is to show that decisive impulses for this development came from poetry and literature. Poets and artists such as Nanni Balestrini, Reinhard Döhl, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Hansjörg Mayer, Gerhard Rühm, and Konrad Balder Schäuffelen accepted the ilegacy of Mallarmé, the Futurists and Dadaists who liberated text from the linearity and constraints of narration. Letters, signs and sounds became material. In the form of objects, actions and performances, the artists conquered space and time, the third and fourth dimensions. »Poetic Expansions« shows the media revolution of the arts, born from the enquiry into linguistic communication at the end of the Gutenberg Galaxy and the beginning of the Turing universe.


Speakers at the opening: 

  • Peter Weibel, Chairman of the ZKM
  • Petra Olschowski, State Secretary for the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg
  • Albert Käuflein, City Council of the City of Karlsruhe
  • Jens Lutz, Miriam Stürner, Holger Jost and Anett Holzheid, Curators of the exhibition
  • Barbara Döhl, Dietrich Heißenbüttel and Jakob Schäuffelen


Organization / Institution
ZKM | Karlsruhe