TimeSpace After "Here" by Richard McGuire

30 January to 11 September 2016

What if it were possible to jump forward and backward in time to find out what happened at a certain place in the past or what will happen there in the future? Where are the boundaries of the unity of time, place and action, and what do images, objects and dates – and what do we – have to do with them?

From 30 January to 11 September 2016, in the exhibition TimeSpace: After ‚Here’ by Richard McGuire, the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt addressed itself to elementary questions concerning our relationship to time and space. It thus took up the thread spun in the graphic novel Here by Richard McGuire, an American illustrator and one of the most famous comic avant-gardists – a work that, in fascinating manner, plays with the dissolution of the unity of time, place and action.

Here by Richard McGuire
With the original six-page version of the comic Here, published in 1989, McGuire sparked a true comic revolution. Like that work, the three-hundred-page graphic novel Here of 2014 is based on brilliant pictorial architecture that cleverly and effectively expands the narrative possibilities of pictorial storytelling by way of the comic. In the ever-same Here of an ordinary living room corner, McGuire introduces temporal insertions into a constantly changing Now. Within a given panel, he allows fragments of the past to intrude and fragments of the future to flash past, thus unfolding entire human lives as if in fast motion. From the origins of the world to a distant, unknown future, epochal moments in the history of the earth and mankind pass by this place and combine with scenes of everyday life.

McGuire’s room from the graphic novel in the fourth dimension
McGuire’s room constituted the focal point of the exhibition as a space in which visitors of all ages can move about, actively change the scenery and become characters in the story Here – but also become its storyteller. Just as ever-different associations come about between the pictures and words scattered through the book Here when it is opened to a random page, the exhibition also offered scope for creativity within which every visitor can assign the images and objects in the room his or her own very personal meaning in the process of actively changing them.

Objects from the museum collections in TimeSpace
In the graphic novel, the course of time is mirrored not only in the coming and going of generations of occupants and in changing landscapes and atmospheres, but also in the emergence and disappearance of the room itself. Here uses graphic means to assign the redesign of this living room special significance by way of changing furnishings and interior decorations over entire epochs. In the exhibition, it is historical furniture, objects and accessories from the museum collections – complete with the passing of time they represent – that enhance the McGuirean room with a series of domestic settings dating from many different eras.

A9 paintings by Leanne Shapton and Shelter by Carl Burton
Likewise in the exhibition, two further artistic approaches each endeavour in their own way to reveal the relationship between time, space and image: Carl Burton with his dream-image-like animated film Shelter, and Leanne Shapton with her watercolour series A9 paintings.

Curator: David Beikirch

Comic in Action!

Pupils, Comic-Stars and Richard McGuire met at the HalbZeit-Tag in the exhibition.