Ines von Ketelhodt ~Germany

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Artist statement: " Ines von Ketelhodt studied 'Visual Communication' at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach/Germany. Since 1986 she works in the fields of photography, typography, artist’s books and graphic design. She was a co-founder of the book artists’ collective 'Unica T' (1986–2001). From 1997 to 2006 she worked together with Peter Malutzki on the fifty volumes book art project 'Zweite Enzyklopädie von Tlön'. In 2002 she moved to Flörsheim/Germany and opened a joint workshop with Peter Malutzki. Her main interests include: experimental typography; experimental photography (such as long exposure time, taking photographs by chance); combination of photography and typography; combination of old and new techniques (such as letterpress, original photographic prints, offset and digital printing)."

Times Square 1-2-3
By Ines von Ketelhodt
Flörsheim, Main, Germany: Ines von Ketelhodt, 2014. Edition of 40.

20.5 x 31.2 cm (8 x 12.3"); 3 volumes, 24 pages each. Photographs digitally printed on opaque paper. Texts printed letterpress with polymer plates onto glassine paper. Three booklets in a slipcase (cardboard and black painted wood strips), flush-covers with linen spine, and embossed titles. Each volume numbered and signed by the artist.

Ines von Ketelhodt: "The three booklets contain photographs which were taken with long exposure times on May 5, 2014 at Times Square in New York. Because of these long exposures, light, time, the position of objects and their movement within the frame accumulate. It captures time in a way that we cannot normally perceive it. A cinematic sequence is generated by turning the pages of all three volumes in parallel.

"Each booklet starts with a motto by Roland Barthes from Camera Lucida.
Reflections on Photography: volume 1 in French original, volume 2 in German translation, volume 3 in English translation.

The image, says phenomenology, is an object-as-nothing. Now, in the Photograph, what I posit is not only the absence of the object; it is also, by one and the same movement, on equal terms, the fact that this object has indeed existed and that it has been there where I see it. Here is where the madness is, for until this day no representation could assure me of the past of a thing except by intermediaries; but with the Photograph, my certainty is immediate: no one in the world can undeceive me. The Photograph then becomes a bizarre medium, a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modest, shared hallucination (on the one hand 'it is not there,' on the other 'but is has indeed been'): a mad image, chafed by reality."


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Farbwechsel: weiß, gelb, grün, blau, rot, schwarz
By Ines von Ketelhodt
Flörsheim, Main, Germany: Ines von Ketelhodt, 2011 - 2013.
Edition of 33.

43.7 x 30.7 x 7.4 cm (17.2 x 12.1 x 2.9")'; six books in a printed cloth-covered clamshell box. The six books have an identical format (41.8 x 29.4 cm / 16.5 x 11.6").
White: 56 pages, bound in printed paper over boards with printed linen spine.
Yellow: Handset and letterpress, 88 pages, bound in printed paper over boards.
Green: 64 pages, bound in printed paper over boards with linen spine.
Blue: 32 pages.
Red: Photographs printed with polymer plates in letterpress using inks in several "lipstick" colors; 60 pages, bound in printed paper over boards.
Black: 32 pages, vat paper, printed paper over boards.
Processes: photography; hand composition; polymer plates; letterpress; offset; and digital printing. Signed and numbered.

Ines von Ketelhodt: "The project farbwechsel/color change consists of six books … Each book is dedicated to a single color. Starting out from classic color theory I placed the colors yellow, green, blue and red between white and black. The project gave me an opportunity to work on the subject of color in different ways. I assigned appropriate topics, text, and pictures to the individual colors, with photography, printing ink and colored papers playing a role. The six books have an identical format (about 17 to 12 inches), but differ in their handling. Some are horizontal, some upright format, one is a concertina.

farbwechsel: weiß - In Eastern cultures white is the color of mourning and death. The white volume contains photographs and headlines about the tsunami disaster that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. They were taken from international online newspapers and were collected from March 11, 2011 to March 11, 2012. The selection includes many different voices from various countries and languages. The photographs (polymer plates) and handset dates (72 point, condensed Block) were printed in letterpress with white ink on white paper. In spite of the different white shades of paper and printing ink, the monochrome white/white print result is difficult to read. This was obviously my intention and is an important aspect of the book. The twenty-four explanatory headlines of the respective dates, I have used in their different languages, appear together on a spread at the end of the book …

"farbwechsel: gelb - The yellow book contains a complete chapter by H. C. Artmann tale Die Sonne war ein grünes Ei ('The sun was a green egg' in German original). It's a funny surrealistic genesis about the creation of the world and its objects. It is about the jealous relationship of sun, moon and a certain object, as well as the genesis of stars and falling stars. As not more than five or six of the large wooden letters fit into a line, I couldn't break the lines by dividing words according to syllables. Printed with yellow ink on yellow paper the text at first sight seems more like a pattern, but it is still legible. It was this ambivalence that interests me in the book: type face as a vehicle for content and type face as pure shape or texture. …

"farbwechsel: grün - It contains a text passage by Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (in English/German) … In the green book I have tried to visualize the topic of dissolved shapes, abstract symbols, the recognition of a letter's shape and the form of words. All letters were cut individually into two parts so that the fragments of each letter look different. Then the two fragment levels were printed digitally in different shades of green onto two transparent foils. Finally in the bound book they are lying over each other, but the fragments are a bit shifted, so the reader can shift the foils until they converge, thus making the text legible. Practiced readers are able to complete even heavily fragmented letter shapes through cognitive supplementation, while reading.

farbwechsel: blau - The blue book contains a poem by Hans Arp 'Himmelblaue Seelen/Sky-blue souls' (in German) and photographs, which were taken with long exposure times in the aquarium of the Frankfurt zoo. Time exposure captures a phase of time that we normally cannot perceive. Movements are blurred, they dissolve in time. Fish that moved slowly or remained in a position, are more easily recognized in the picture, than those, that were swimming fast. Even though the fish were there and swam through the picture, they can sometimes completely disappear, not leaving any 'light'-trace. Their time within the field of view was too short, to form an image on the sensor of my camera. The photographs are printed in offset, the poem in letterpress using transparent ink. So the text gets its color by the underlying photograph. The glossiness of the transparent ink lets you easily read the type face on the photographs.

"farbwechsel: rot -Inspired by Giuseppe Tornatore's movie Cinema Paradiso I began collecting kiss scenes for the red book. The movie is set in a small catholic village in Italy during the forties. It is about the history of cinema and movie. And there is this wonderful story about censored kiss scenes. For the red book I took kiss photographs from the television screen. My idea was that in the book all women should kiss all men and all men should kiss all women. New couple combinations are created with Lauren Bacall, Diane Baker, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, Tony Curtis, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Peter O'Toole, Gregory Peck and Elizabeth Taylor ('Some Like It Hot', 'To Have and Have Not', 'How to Steal a Million', 'Mirage', 'The Kid', 'Cleopatra').

farbwechsel: schwarz - The black book is a concertina (31 feet) printed on both sides. The black-and-white photographs were taken while wandering through the city of Frankfurt, Germany without looking through the view finder of the camera. Chance as well as the trajectory and bodily movement of the stroller define the picture's viewpoint. 'La Notte' a text by Giorgio Manganelli gave me the inspiration for the book. … Said cuboid-shape gave me the idea to print a slightly translucent black letterpress rectangle with a polymer plate onto my offset-printed night photographs. The significantly darker letterpress-black creates a second level on the offset photograph. But the photograph beneath is still visible through the overprint. Manganelli's text (in Italian and German) appears in some of the black rectangles. The type face is negative on the polymer plate and seems on the print sometimes lighter, sometimes darker due to the structure of the photograph beneath, shaped by the picture."

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Die bessere Hälfte - eine Ahnengalerie
[The better half - a gallery of ancestral portraits]
By Ines von Ketelhodt
Flörsheim, Main, Germany: Ines von Ketelhodt, 2010. Edition of 50.

20.3 x 29.6 cm (8 x 11.7"); 112 pages. Photographs edited digitally. Printed on parchment paper. Design, handset, letterpress by Ines von Ketelhodt. Bound in printed paper over boards. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Ines von Ketelhodt: "Pictorial history of the artist's ancestry dating back to the 13th century, starting with her maternal ancestors leading in direct line to herself together with her husband Peter Malutzki. The following pages show her paternal ancestors. The portrait photographs were taken from paintings, drawings, etchings, and epitaphs or out of family photo-albums. The individual portraits were divided in the center and set together with their spouse to let the 'better halves' form a 'new person'. If a portrait is missing, the personal information ghosts through in reverse, as the respective names and dates of birth and death are printed in letterpress on the back of the portraits. Forming a further layer, historic dates from the 13th to the 21st century are set in relation to this data. The historic dates from all over the world are vertically printed in letterpress in a smaller font."

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Unser Landschaftsbericht
[Our Landscape Report]
auf Originalfotografien von Ines v. Ketelhodt
mit Buchdruckfiguren von Peter Malutzki
text by Peter Rosei
Lahnstein/Oberursel, Germany: Flug Blatt-Press/ Unica T, 1996. Edition of 60.

17 x 24 cm (6.7 x 9.4"); 44 pages. Double-sided concertina. 22 photographic prints on Agfa Paper. Handset and letterpress printed. Bound in stiff paper boards with titles on front cover. Signed and numbered by poet and artists.

Ines von Ketelhodt: "Unser Landschaftsbericht was a collaboration with Peter Malutzki. The title came from a text by Peter Rosei (a description of a surrealistic landscape), which we printed in its entirety on original black-and-white photographs by Ines. First we had to make all of the original photographic prints for the edition. There were 22 pictures per copy, about 1,500 in total. Our bathroom was constantly blockaded, and there were pictures hanging up to dry everywhere. The photos showed body parts of naked women and men, barely recognizable as such because of the way the images were cropped. They are more reminiscent of hilly landscapes; lined up alongside one another in the accordion, they do actually create a landscape that extends throughout the whole accordion book. The accordion has one light side and one dark side. The dark side consists of positive prints of the photos, and the light side of contact prints of the positives. Thus the light-colored photographs are negatives. In fact, the two sides look like day and night shots. We had decided to do this because there are also day and night images in Rosei’s text. Peter inserted letterpress figures into the imaginary landscape (printed with polymer plates, brass rules and various type materials), some of them acting as signs within the landscape, sometimes simply showing the page number but also creating figurative elements. They are not always visible at first glance on the dark pages, since they are letterpress printed in black onto the dark photo paper. But when the pages are turned slightly so that the light falls on them from a different angle, the shiny shapes are clearly visible."

Peter Rosei is a prolific Austrian writer who chronicles the everyday existence of the ordinary and banal in the late 20th and early 21st century.

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Don Juan
Text by Karoline von Günderode
Book design by Ines von Ketelhodt
Offenbach, Germany: Ines von Ketelhodt, 1990. Edition of 50.

16 x 48 cm (6.3 x 18.9"); 10 pages. Accordion binding, printed on one side. Bound in printed linen-over-board cover. Photography, handset, letterpress, and bookbinding by Ines von Ketelhodt. Numbered and signed by the artist.

Ines von Ketelhodt: "The silhouette of a kissing scene, printed in red, forms the background for Karoline von Günderode's ballade superimposed in black print. From close up, the 12 point type is legible on an abstract red color field. When the concertina is unfolded and viewed from a distance, the figures appear nearly life-size. The effect is an interplay between closeness and distance."

Karoline von Günderode (1780 – 1806) came from a poor but aristocratic family. She felt frustrated by prescribed female roles of her place and time. Romantic poetry became an outlet for these frustrations.

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Page last update: 01.02.16


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