Pri­ma­rily through his multi-dimensional per­for­man­ces, instal­la­ti­ons, and kine­tic art­works that focus, for the most part, on sen­sory per­cep­tion and human inter­ac­tion, Robert Kess­ler (born 1956) has become known to a wider audi­ence in and around Munich.
In par­al­lel, he has crea­ted pho­to­gra­phy that docu­ments the run of several per­for­man­ces. Yet, these pho­to­graphs them­sel­ves hold a high level of artistic value in that they were alre­ady crea­ted as auto­no­mous works of art and also live up to this claim. The series “le temps d’illumination / Poul Prat” (2006) belongs to this group and was crea­ted at an aban­do­ned house in the far wes­tern end of Brit­tany. The series docu­ments artfully-illuminated buil­dings pho­to­gra­phed at night, the actual instal­la­ti­ons on view wit­hin these buil­dings, as well as the inte­rior and exte­rior of these struc­tures in day­light. A moving light in the dark regis­te­red by the camera as a tra­cer plays a cen­tral role from this point for­ward. In the series “light and water” (2007), this light is cha­rac­te­ri­zed as ner­vously vibra­ting struc­tures in the blue of the water. In “invi­si­ble stream” (2007), this light tou­ches the water’s sur­face. It con­trasts with the river’s cur­rent, which is barely dis­cer­ni­ble from the reflec­tion of the night sky, and scra­pes eit­her a dor­mant or ener­ge­tic line into the dar­k­ness. For “inside ice” (2008), on the other hand, Kess­ler allows the light to strike like light­ning into the icy archi­tec­ture of a gla­cier. Light sub­se­quently appears in a covert man­ner at the apex of a river’s dam in “water­lights fal­ling” (2008). “… ich bin Dein See”(“… I am Your Lake”) which was imple­men­ted at Lake Ammer in May 2009 by Robert Kess­ler con­sti­tu­tes his lar­gest light-based per­for­mance. Light from the sky (cast by a heli­c­op­ter) descen­ded onto the lake, where it was picked up by a boat that pas­sed it on to other boats, where it then for­med a cir­cle of rota­ting, ligh­ted fis­hing bob­bers. Here the incom­pa­ra­bly uni­que sce­nery, as obser­ved by fading day­light in con­junc­tion with the light instal­la­tion, immer­ses the viewer into the event’s visual imagery. Simi­larly, in the series “vision of sound” the coope­ra­tion of sound, light, and time is the pre­re­qui­site for the for­ma­tion of light-based images. A flexibly-constructed rod crea­ted by Kess­ler trans­la­tes sound and noise into move­ment; by swin­ging the light on the top of the rod through space, it regis­ters a three­di­men­sio­nal pat­tern in exact rela­tion to the sound emit­ted at that moment.
With all of this in con­side­ra­tion, Robert Kessler’s pho­to­graphs fall wit­hin the broad range of expe­ri­men­tal pho­to­gra­phy. Yet, the expe­ri­ment is not an aes­the­tic end in and of its­elf. Based upon the artist’s under­stan­ding, light is the reflec­tion of the human soul and a sym­bol of memory that is natu­rally embed­ded in the con­text of water, a vital ele­ment of life.

Cur­ri­cu­lum Vitae
1956 born in Nurem­berg, Bava­ria, Germany
1978–1980 Stu­dies of History of Art, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich
1980–1985 Stu­dies at the Aca­demy of Fine Arts, Munich, with Prof. Gerd Win­ner, Prof. Fri­dhelm Klein and Prof. Robin Page (mas­ter stu­dent); diploma
1985–2008 Activi­ties as free­lance artist and art teacher GCSE and gra­dua­tion at home and abroad; pho­to­gra­pher and pre­press lay­out spe­cia­list, web desi­gner, pro­ject coach
2000–2008 Lec­tures, work shops, publi­ca­ti­ons and teaching i. a. for the Aca­demy of Fine Arts, Munich, the Aca­demy for Teachers’ Fur­ther Edu­ca­tion, Dil­lin­gen, and for the Schwa­ben­aka­de­mie Irsee.
2008 Free­lance artist, social kine­tic art
Robert Kess­ler lives and works in Aschaf­fen­burg, Bava­ria, Germany
Exhi­bi­ti­ons — Selec­tion (S = Solo show, G = Group exhibition)
2013 „Birds, Insects and Sound machi­nes“ (G), show and con­cert with Kathy Hinde, Matthew Olden, Chris­toph Rei­se­rer, Robert Kess­ler, Tom Sora and Hel­mut Wol­fen­stet­ter, Signal­raum (Halle 4), Kul­tur­zen­trum Ein­stein, Munich
„room is music is room” (G), cross­over coope­ra­tion pro­jects with Ecco Mei­neke, Signal­raum (Halle 4), Kul­tur­zen­trum Ein­stein, Munich
2012 „Fotos und kine­ti­sche Werke“ (S), foyer of the Depart­ment of Uro­logy Munich-Planegg
„being part“ (S), Baa­der­straße, Munich
„Kunst­land­schaft Ober­bay­ern: Land­kreis Starn­berg“ (G), Govern­ment of Upper Bava­ria, Munich
„Le troi­sième œil“ (G), Valé­rie Bach Gal­lery, Brus­sels, Belgium
2011 Par­ti­ci­pa­tion in the panel dis­cus­sion „After­math. Der Umgang der Künst­ler mit dem Unheil in unse­rer Zeit, von Ausch­witz über 9/11 zu Fukus­hima“ at the exhi­bi­tion „Baby­lons Schat­ten III“ for the 10th anni­versary of nine-eleven, whi­te­BOX Kult­fa­brik, Munich
2010 Art pro­ject „Gegen­über und Mit­ein­an­der“ (G) of the evan­ge­li­cal Luther­kir­che and the katho­lic Hei­lig Kreuz Kir­che, Munich
2009 (G) Gale­rie der Moderne / STEFAN VOGDT, Munich
2006–2008 „grow into“ (S), world­wide exhi­bi­tion of a kine­tic object for the Allianz-Group 1999
„War­mer Atem schmilzt das Eis“ (S), Fabrik­halle, Munich
1996 Work shop „Der öffent­li­che Tod“, memo­rial models Esto­nia und Bir­ge­n­air (S), Sie­mens­fo­rum, München
1995 „Esto­nia Modell“ (G), Sta­tens Kon­st­rad, Stock­holm, Sweden
1991 „Der Traum vom Flie­gen“ (G), Kul­tur­zen­trum Gas­teig, Munich
Actions, pro­jects and per­for­man­ces – Selection
2010 Light per­for­mance „Leben atmen“ at the Depart­ment of Uro­logy, Munich-Planegg
„Kränkst Du mich, kränk ich Dich?“, public per­for­mance con­cerning inci­dents at the Andechs com­mu­nity in terms of dea­ling with offense, docu­men­tary film
2009 Aktion „…ich bin Dein See“ in Herr­sching am Ammer­see with 120 con­tri­bu­tors (Kul­tur­ver­ein Herrsching)
2008 „inside ice“, photo shoots in the Kien­tal, Andechs
„Earth to face“, photo shoots of the phy­si­cist Peter Rein­artz in a plane of the DLR
„Siehe, was aus Dir spricht“, photo and video recor­dings with deaf child­ren of the Baye­ri­schen Lan­des­schule für Gehörlose
„Siehe, was Du hörst“, cura­to­rial con­cept by Erno Vroonen
Pre­sen­ta­tion of kine­tic works in four acts at four loca­ti­ons in Andechs
2007 Foun­da­tion of the com­mu­nity coope­ra­tion „Kine­tic Fac­tory“ for the deve­lop­ment of con­strcu­ti­ons and con­trols of kine­tic works
2006 Well pro­ject „me and we“, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emi­ra­tes, toge­ther with the Deut­schen Gesell­schaft für Tech­ni­sche Zusam­men­ar­beit (GTZ)
Action „le temps d´illumination“, Dép. Finistère, France
„five­lights“, Per­for­mance at the sea, Dép. Finistère, France
„Bot­schaft an die Welt“, deve­lop­ment of a preven­tion pro­ject against future vio­lence and terror
1999 Public deli­very of an art work to the muni­ci­pa­lity of Eschede in memory of the ICE train crash in 1998
1997 Action „Poul Prat“, Dép. Finistère, France
„In sich gehen mit 27 Fuß lan­gen Eisen­schu­hen“, Neue Gale­rie Dachau
„The work of seven men“, action box for 7 men, Munich
Public Art – Selection
2013 Con­cept for a kine­tic model of the „Gro­ßen Transformation“
2011 Rea­liza­tion of the work „Zuver­sicht“, Gretel-Bergmann-Schule, Hamburg-Allermöhe
2010 Land art pro­ject „at home… where you are!“, KOKUS, Hamburg-Allermöhe“, 1st prize realization
Art pro­ject „Gegen­über und Mit­ein­an­der“ of the evan­ge­lic Luther­kir­che and the katho­lic Hei­lig Kreuz Kir­che, i. a. „Last sup­per“ light object
2009 Rea­liza­tion of the kine­tic objects „Pip“ and „Tulip“, Uni­ver­si­tät Augsburg
2008 Kine­tic foun­tain object, Ammersee-Gymnasium, Die­ßen am Ammer­see (draft)
2007 Kine­tic light objects for EON (draft)
2005 Design for the work „Wahn­mal“ in terms of vio­lence and holocaust
1996 Sun­dial for the city of Beilngries
Pri­zes & Awards – Selection
2012 Awar­ded as „Kul­tur– und Krea­tiv­pi­lo­ten Deutsch­land“ 2012 by the Cul­tu­ral and Crea­tive Indus­tries Initia­tive of the Ger­man Govern­ment along with 32 other winners
2010 »Light«, inter­na­tio­nal com­pe­ti­tion design flat glass, cathe­dral of Roer­mond, Nether­lands, nomination
2009 Land art pro­ject »Aller­möhe« Ham­burg 1st prize, rea­liza­tion in 2010
2008 Public art for the con­struc­tion of the Insti­tut für Wirt­schafts­in­for­ma­tik and the Zen­trum für Wei­ter­bil­dung und Wis­sens­trans­fer of the Uni­ver­si­tät Augs­burg, 1st prize
1998 Stadt­werke Zen­trale Munich, 2nd prize
1994 Memo­rial »Esto­nia ship disas­ter« in Stock­holm, exhi­bi­tion at »Sta­tens Kon­st­rad«, Stock­holm, Sweden
Coope­ra­ti­ons & collec­tions, purcha­ses – Selection
Baye­ri­sche Staats­ge­mäl­de­samm­lung, Alli­anz Group, BMW, Baye­ri­sche Lan­des­bank, Baye­ri­sche Haus­bau, Lan­des­haupt­stadt Mün­chen, Deut­sches Museum Mün­chen, Stadt­mu­seum Mün­chen, Mode­messe Mün­chen, Hau­ner­sche Uni­ver­si­täts­kli­nik Mün­chen, Stadt Augs­burg, Stadt Beiln­gries, Stadt Nörd­lin­gen, Samt­ge­meinde Eschede, Archi­tek­tur­büro Koch & Part­ner, Archi­tek­tur­büro Kaup & Part­ner, arc Archi­tek­ten BdA, Nickl & Part­ner Archi­tek­ten, RTL, ZDF, Bava­ria Film, Radio Lora and other public and pri­vate clients

Robert Kess­ler

Robert Kessler

Robert Kess­ler is an excep­tio­nal artist. His works com­bine com­mu­nity enga­ge­ment, environ­men­tal awa­ren­ess, and crea­tive inno­va­tion. He does not shy away from tack­ling dif­fi­cult, cri­ti­cal issues. His won­der­ful instal­la­ti­ons con­vey to us that man is there to be a dogoo­der in the most posi­tive sense of the word.“ (Erno Vroo­nen, Cura­to­rial Advi­sor, 2010)