In a completely new exhibition looking back over the artistic career of husband-and-wife German photographers Anna and Bernhard Blume, the Centre Pompidou is presenting their spectacular, monumental work acquired in 2012, Im Wahnzimmer, for the very first time.
This book highlights their work, full of mocking humour, with a selection of 30 or so original photographs of the paranormal phenomena that have always amused and fascinated the two artists (IGPP collection - Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene).
Anna and Bernhard Blume began working in the late Sixties. They have a real penchant for the subversive character of apparitions, levitations, the remote moving of objects and other spiritualist phenomena.
In contrast with most of their contemporaries, they have adopted an openly irrational, subjective and jubilatory approach. In reconstructing these phenomena in their own way, and fixing them, the Blumes seek to break with the banality of a «petit-bourgeois» everyday life. Through these images, Anna and Bernhard Blume express an insidious, gently subversive criticism of the German middle class with its codes, stereotypes, relationship with consumerism and materialism.
The Im Wahnzimmer series fully reflects this sense of «domestic madness». Its title is a pun on the German words «Wohnzimmer» (dining room) and «Wahn» (madness). Produced in 1984, it is inspired by photographs of the paranormal phenomena -particularly poltergeists - that were regularly reported in the German press at the time, on which the artists gathered a considerable amount of information. The exhibition in the Centre Pompidou's Galerie de Photographies is presenting this 25-metre long series for the first time. It consists of a polyptych of 18 large format prints (200 x 126 cm), in which the two artists stage themselves in a world where everyday objects seem endowed with supernatural powers.