Julius von Bismarck: When Platitudes Become Form Berlinische Galerie



• German/English, Swiss Hardcover
 176 pages
• 28 x 21.7 cm
ISBN 9783775745611
• Editor: Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
• Published by


The practice of Julius von Bismarck (b. Breisach am Rhein, 1983; lives and works in Berlin) probes what is commonly labeled as nature. He insistently deconstructs his chosen objects to inquire into how we as a society shape and value nature and who controls the interpretations involved in this process. Intertwining visual art with concerns in the natural and human sciences, his work takes on richly diverse forms: installations, happenings, sculptures, or land art pieces. Von Bismarck brings a sense of humor and critical acumen to bear on our frequently oversimplified views of nature and explores how these can influence past and present discourse about politics. Beholding his magical creations—the artist filmed fires, chased hurricanes, painted on the high seas—one is deeply conflicted; they are terrifying and beautiful at once. The catalogue When Platitudes Become Form expands on Bismarck’s exhibition of the same title at Berlinische Galerie, the first show for which he chose a biographical approach, drawing on his own family’s history, with contributions by international scholars as well as numerous installation views and images of his work. It includes an introduction by Thomas Köhler and Anne Bitterwolf, and essays by the literary scholar and philosopher Timothy Morton, the landscape architect Violeta Burckhardt, the art historian Paul Farber, and others.

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Julius von Bismarck

Julius von Bismarck

Julius von Bismarck’s (b. 1983 in Breisach am Rhein) installations, videos and performances use the laws of physics to challenge the way we are used to seeing things. At the interface between art and science, he focuses on natural phenomena. His interdisciplinary approach involves questioning concepts of nature, and testifying, by means of brutal transformation, to the long tradition of human intervention of our natural surroundings. The artist lives and works in Berlin.