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DocFilm

Günther Uecker: Hands-on poetry

Günther Uecker is a very physical artist who creates poetic works out of unpromising materials. Moving between worlds with his message of peace, he sets out to vanquish fear and make clear statements on issues where language has otherwise failed.

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Günther Uecker's work is rich, lively and varied, ranging from his "Terror Orchestra" - a homage to the American composer John Cage - to kinetic light art, and from meditative sand spirals to political manifestoes. Moving between worlds with his message of peace, he sets out to vanquish fear and make clear statements on issues where language has otherwise failed: positing human rights against the obdurate cultural bureaucracy in China, for example, or conjuring up his "Ash Pictures” in response to the Chernobyl disaster. Uecker was born in1930 in Pomerania. After the uprising of 17 June 1953, he escaped from East Germany and went to the Rhineland, where he still lives. He became one of the pioneers of the West German postwar avant-garde and from 1961 was part "Zero," a group that aimed at a completely fresh start in the arts. He has constantly sought contact with other cultures and traveled to crisis regions, and has shown his works in dictatorships and totalitarian states.