“Kunstwerk” in the age of holography

Dietmar Ohlmann
Syn4D, Germany

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In 2007 one auction shocked collectors and artists: Two art works of Rudie Berkhout were offered for one dollar on ebay. The closing down of museums for holography in Cologne, New York and Washington DC paid a big price of respect for true art. Benjamin’s vision about “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” found a new expression in abuse and ignorance. Beautiful sculptures of Art are reduced to “Holograms”, Rudie’s “Cairo Aspect” placed in a rummage sale, covered by fingerprints of ignorance.

The artist of holography failed quite often to use the same professionalism as photographer, possibly not warned by Walter Benjamin uplifted finger. Single artworks or limited edition on glass have been reproduced on open limited edition on film. Quite a few collectors stopped investment in holographic art because of this practice. To separate technical beauty and true art is with the elaborate possibilities of photonics media challenging. However difficult color control in holography might be a criteria for art critics and visual artists not to consider works in their artistic content. But history of art shows that colors have been rendered progressively. To study “Painting Material and its use in the painting” from Max Doerner (1992 München-Berlin-Leipzig) you learn that malachite makes a beautiful green in a Fresco. To create a Fresco like Benozzo Gozzoli, e.g. the Procession of the Magic in the Palazzo (1459) Merici Riccardi, you need to have the whole painting already finished before you take the brush in your hand. To appreciate the variety of green in the breathtaking Fresco becomes even greater, if we know that Chromoxid first described by Vauquelin in 1809, and emerald green in 1850 patented by the French paint producer Pannetier. We can appreciate the pseudo color display holograms of artists like Inaki Begusristain and Margaret Benyon but not in the same context. The paper will identify some of the hindrances of the holographic art in regards with these past 40 years in Europe and America, based on the insider experience of the authors. Crossing their perspectives, Odile Meulien Ohlmann, a French/American curator, collectors and culture analyst, and Dietmar Öhlmann, a German artist and 3D designer will show that the education in art history and humanities need to make some evolution or revolution!