Galeria Quadrado Azul presents, for the first time in Portugal, Ursula Böckler’s photographic documentation of the Brazilian “adventure” of Martin Kippenberger, in 1985/1986.
In December 1985, Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen left Germany for Rio de Janeiro where they remained for some weeks and presented a concert at Jazzmania in Ipanema on 23.12.1985. After Oehlen returned to Germany, Kippenberger travelled to meet artist and photographer Ursula Böckler in Salvador da Bahia. Together they went on a road trip around Brazil, with destinations that included Maceió, Recife, Brasília and Manaus.
Derived from The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, Kippenberger aptly titled his own venture Magical Mysery Tour, with a plan to create a number of performances on the road. Böckler was invited to accompany Kippenberger and document the young white German male artist in situ. Böckler’s photographs depict a somewhat ingenuous Kippenberger, negotiating a gas station near Salvador, dancing in bars, celebrating his 33rd birthday or posing and performing for the camera in front of public sculptures. Yet, it is nevertheless possible to reflect on a period in Brazilian history, right after twenty years of military dictatorship, a time when the country was in the midst of a monetary crisis and again in a movement to become something different.
The exhibition at Quadrado Azul also premieres new Super 8 films from a recent visit to the Gas Station Martin Bormann. Not only Martin Bormann’s whereabouts have been mysterious, but also if Kippenberger really bought a gas station, if the gas station existed and where it was situated. In 2017, 31 years later, and almost 20 years after Martin Kippenbergers death, Ursula Böckler and her partner Georg Graw returned to Salvador. During the research in Salvador de Bahia they were able to relocate the “Tankstelle Martin Bormann”. The film reels show the original site – still a gas station, but now a super modern one. The gaze of the anachronistic Super-8 film transcends the span of time. A travel in time to a Brazilian gas station that became the source of an iconic work of art.