Books have always been an important part of our artistic practice – in our independent as well as the collaborative projects.
The process of developing a project often gets clear when looking at the dummies. In some cases you already know how the book will look like while shooting the images. In that case you rather need a dummy but you might need to work hard on the concept of an exhibition. In other cases you are very sure about the whole concept of a book but you need to try several different forms of the book, develop the editing of the images, change decisions about size, paper or book-binding.
We often start projects with a Zine in a smaller edition of 105 copies. There we juxtapose images, develop the topics and very often understand the Zine as a part of a larger concept which could include a web-based project, an exhibition or a video.
We exhibited various forms of »Japanese Lesson« several times before, always changing, including for the most part a very fast projection of our own photographs we took in Japan over the last 11 years alternating with found footage like maps, historic photos or paintings, pop-culture-images, drawings, mangas or animes giving an insight into our growing and developing personal knowledge about Japan. The presentations also included framed photos of protestors and activists in recent history, different zines, edited by the audience, collections of toys, books by other artists from our own photobook library – every time a different selection or compilation.
Until now we could never decide to work on »Japanese Lesson« as a book. In this exhibition at CCCB in Barcelona you can follow the process of creation, understand our communication and collaboration, get and idea about what the book will be someday – including new works, images from older series or photographs we took in Japan since 2005. The video includes more than 700 images – our own photographs, historic photos, photos from newspapers, magazines, advertising, mangas, still-images from movies, drawings, paintings or photographs by artists, maps, street-views and much more.
Japanese Lesson, one channel video, 2015, 12:09 min
Diary 2015 Protest, Art and Activism
Böhm / Kobayashi（ベーム/コバヤシ）来日記念 カティア・ストゥーケ×オリバー・ジーバー×卯城竜太（Chim↑Pom） 特別トークショー「芸術実行論」
IMA Concept Store, April 9, 2015
Böhm #41, Das März Heft
16 Pages, 21 x 29,7 cm each issue contains a different editing of 8 images out of 99 images taken in Tokyo, Miyagi and Osaka in march 2012 Edition of 3 x #35
During the Open Sourve Festival in Düsseldorf in 2012 Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber released the new issue of the Böhm-fazine (and a special issue including a clear vinyl by Elektrohorror) Coming back from Japan in that year with more that 60 image they made the offer to the interesed to edit their own, individual copy. read more»»
In 2012 the Kunstverein Leverkusen exhibited works by Takashi Homma, Rinko Kawauchi, Karianne Bueno, Kai-Uwe Gundlach, Jens Liebchen, Jochen Manz, Nina Poppe and The Japanese Lesson as a pop-up exhibition, including projections, books, music, food (in collaboration with Michiko Shida) and photographs.
As part of Katja Stuke’s and Oliver Sieber’s exhibition Our House at the Photomuseum Braunschweig (curated by Florian Ebner) the Japanese Lesson consisted of a projection and an installation including their japanese toy-collection.
At the beginning, the Japanese Lesson was presented and exhibited as a slideshow, including found images, images by Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber and english-japanese-phrases. It was shown as part of new talents by nüans in 2008 for the first time. In the following years Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber where invited to show the Japanese Lesson at WG/3Zi/Kü/Bar (by Markus Ambach and Birgit Jensen) or Berger Kirche Düsseldorf.
During an ArtEX residency in Osaka in 2006 Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber started a
photo-blog, a chain of association. They invited photographers, artists, friends in
Germany, Japan, Canada, Romania, from South America, Turkey, the Baltic Countries,
the Netherlands, South Korea to take part, to post pictures to the blog. Each picture
was an answer, an opposite, a challenge, a formal context or a similar topic to the
picture before. The blog was online for one year and exhibited at CASO, Contemporary
Art Space Osaka in 2006. The publication was produced in 2007, supported by the
Goethe Institut, Munich.
Japanese Lesson is a project by Katja Stuke (*1968) and Oliver Sieber (*1966), both live and work in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since 1999 they publish the photo-fanzine Frau Böhm where they juxtapose works from different series or develop collective works for the publications. Under the label BöhmKobayashi they cover an extensive range of personas: photographers and artists, curators and exhibition organizers (ANT!FOTO, Photoszene Cologne), designers, art book editors and publishers. Regardless, in their works and activities as artists and art facilitators they have long since become moderators of a very specific photographic culture. Who are you this time? Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber have become international
traveling salesmen in the field of photography, who feel more at home on the road than
they do in their atelier in Düsseldorf. Like no other German artists of their generation, they
have portrayed the everyday culture of Japan in their works or turned the mythic locations
of film into a subject of photography.
During the last years they i.a. exhibited at Museum for Contemporary Photography Chicago, Stadtmuseum München, Palazzo da Mosto Reggio Emilia, Kunsthalle Bremen, Museum für Photographie Braunschweig, Fondation d’entreprise Hermès Bern, Photomuseum Antwerp, Florence Loewy Paris, Museum Folkwang Essen or Kunstmuseum Bonn.