Wilhelm Klotzek: writing stories and tracing presences

This summer, for the second time, Nida Art Colony was hosting a resident grant holder of the Goethe Institut. Last year the collaboration brought to us Franzisca Nast and her great posters that have been exhibited in the facilities of Nida Church and later in Vilnius Academy of Arts. This year it was a Berlin based German artist Wilhelm Klotzek. His artistic practices are concentrating on text: writing it, reading it, performing it, objectifyint it. His interest lie in scratching the surface of the history, retelling stories, searching for the essence, delwing into the oblivion.


“Long-standing visitors to the Thomas Mann festival, had to laugh heartily at the bad-tempered Crow in Nida, who approached themes of Heimat, identity, history, art and nature on the Curonian Spit, without an ounce of respect. While laughing, however, they could not have helped realising that this amusing, and cleverly packaged essay, contained important statements from the Berlin artist Wilhelm Klotzek. Years had to go by before his revolutionary theory, explaining how works of literature were created, (through the trapping of flying text-fragments), in the Thomas Mann house, arrived. As a result the cultural history of the house must, necessarily, be rewritten.”

Michael Leiserowitz

The intervention, “Nie da in Nida” (Never there in Nida), from the artist and author Wilhelm Klotzek is related to the self-same titled essay, which he wrote within the frame of an artist’s residency in Nida 2013. The essay deals with the act of writing itself, as well as theories on how ‘My Summer house’, an essay by Thomas Mann, came to be. He explores the notion of history writing, through slipping into the perspective of a local Crow, who in tern is deeply critical of German tourists as well as the way in which the history of the Curonian Spit has been recorded. The ‘word-boards’ that you find throughout the exhibition rooms, are so-called ‘free text fragments’ (or Moths as Klotzek calls them), that fly through the exhibition, reminding one of the freedom of words, as well as the sculptural materiality they posses. Seen from this perspective, both Klotzek and Mann are working with the same material:


"Nie da in Nida" Leather print nailed on faux leather board, 2013

The lamp: “MANNO LAMPO” is a further object from the artist’s essay. It is a freely interpreted reproduction of a copy of Thomas Mann’s reading lamp, and as such, takes a key role within the text.

The exhibition by Wilhelm Klotzek will be available for visit in Thomas Mann house in Nida until the end of summer 2013. You can download the poster of the exhibition here