Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee
Exhibition room - © R. Siegenthaler
Exhibition room
© R. Siegenthaler
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24.09.2011 - 11.03.2012

Eiapopeia. The child within Klee

«Klee is a prince, Sunday’s child, whom we allow to play, because his playing, pure and gifted by genius, resonates with our own life in the gentle ‘Eiapopeia’ of the heavenly realm.»
Waldemar Jollos in the periodical Das Kunstblatt, 1919

The Zentrum Paul Klee opens its new temporary exhibition Eiapopeia. The child within Klee. Joining the 130 drawings and colour works from the collection is the poetic installation Carousel by Belgian artist Carsten Höller as well as short films by the Lumière brothers.

A carousel stands in the middle of the Zentrum Paul Klee (ZPK). It is the eye-catcher and at the same time the axis of the exhibition, in which everything revolves around childhood. Eiapopeia. The child within Klee is the last temporary exhibition at the ZPK on the theme of the year – Child.

The children’s merry-go-round of Belgian artist Carsten Höller does not turn at an exciting speed, but goes endlessly slowly – backwards. This might somewhat relieve the frustration that one is not allowed to enter the installation. But the films of the Lumière brothers move with more dynamic. The pictures from the pioneering film era give the impression that time has stood still. They make you aware of how quickly the contented play of a group of children erupts into an uncontrolled argument and how unrestrained children behave – a timeless reality.

Beside all the moving mechanisms and moving pictures, the focus is naturally on the work of Paul Klee. Childhood was one of the recurring themes for Paul Klee (1879–1940). He rediscovered his own childhood drawings in 1902. Impressed by his childlike scribbles, he later incorporated them into his Catalogue of Works and from then on, considered them as works of art in their own right. The exhibition Eiapopeia. The Child within Klee shows around 130 drawings and coloured works from the collection at the ZPK. As in the Lumière films, Klee shows not only nice, sweet children but also those who are angry and aggressive. They show perpetrators or victims and are not essentially naive – since the canny observer Klee knew that children can cunningly calculate how to twist you round their little finger. The exhibition about children is suited for both children and adults.

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