Julius von Bismarck: Talking to Thunder



• English, Softcover
 176 pages
• 27.5 x 22.5 cm
• Published by Hatje Cantz, 2019


In a historical moment gripped by environmental catastrophes of our own making, Julius von Bismarck confronts the forces of nature at their unruly extremes. Deploying sculpture, photography, video and technological devices designed to harness the elements, Bismarck stills water droplets and fragments of exploding stone, shaping them into slow-motion disasters calibrated to the rate of human perception.

Through performative encounters with lightning, wildfires, hurricanes and ocean waves, the artist stages a timely reckoning with the fate of age-old ideas of nature. Following a foreword by museum director Susanne Pfleger, Talking to Thunder explores the implications of Bismarck’s latest work through essays by philosopher Dehlia Hannah and curator Nadim Samman, interviews with Wiwa shaman Taita, Jürgen Trittin of the German Green Party, and fire historian Stephen Pyne, as well as excerpts from Gaston Bachelard and Max Frisch.

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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.