Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Perspectives. Work activation, Haus der Kunst Munich, Photo: Maximilian Geuter

#WaltheratHome - Let's get active!

Written by Pia Linden,

Until you can once again view the major exhibition “Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Perspectives” in Haus der Kunst, we are bringing the artist’s ideas to you at home with our #WaltheratHome campaign; we invite you to perform your own activations and share them with us.

The retrospective at Haus der Kunst spans Walther’s artistic career, from the late 1950s to the present. Walther’s preferred material is fabric, which he uses to create works that oscillate between painting and sculpture. The viewer plays a central role hereby, as the artist lures us out of our passive role and engages us in his works.

Walther’s earliest activation works focus on basic experiences we have using our hands. Two velvet cushions, which initially appear identical, reveal themselves as empty or stuffed when we touch them. Two glasses filled with rice seem to have different weights when held. From bars of soap to sticks of butter or filled canning jars, you can certainly find many objects in your cupboards that allow you to engage in such experiences at home.

Walther expanded the range of his work early on to include the entire body. With his colorful work “Rote Scheibe mit vier Bändern” (Red Panel with Four Straps), he placed the human dimension at the center of his practice. Try standing like Franz Erhard Walther did: stretch your arms out in front of a wall and sense the size of your body in relation to the room - from head to toe, from one fingertip to the other. If you feel like it, you can also make a life-sized cutout of yourself.

Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Perspectives, Installation view, Activation, Haus der Kunst, 2020, Photo: Maximilian Geuter © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020
Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Perspectives, Installation view, Activation, Haus der Kunst, 2020, Photo: Maximilian Geuter © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Walther’s artistic approach - declaring the action as experience to be the work itself - ultimately led to a key work: his first “Werksatz.” This work consists of 58 objects made of cotton fabric that spur people to become active. One, two or more individuals can hold the objects, stretch them, try them on or lie down on them. The joint action creates sculptural forms while also, and more importantly, prompting interpersonal encounters that evoke very different feelings and emotions.

Now it’s your turn - activate yourself at home! #WaltheratHome

By copying the artist’s works at home, you can also explore what you can experience in our exhibition. Let yourself be inspired by our photos from the initial days of the exhibition and become active within your own four walls. Old bed sheets or curtains can easily be turned into activation works - and not only for indoors. Perhaps some of your ideas can be activated in pairs on your lawn or in the park.

Show us your activation works! #WaltheratHome

We are looking forward to seeing or reading about your #WaltheratHome experience! Share your ideas and activations at #WaltheratHome and #hausderkunst and tag us! We will link the best posts here in the blog and share them on our social media channels!

Pia Linden is Head of Education / Learning at Haus der Kunst.

Your ​#WaltheratHome activations: