Timm Ulrichs, Walter Benjamin: Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit - Interpretation: Timm Ulrichs. Die Photokopie der Photokopie der Photokopie der Photokopie
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
The Centre Pompidou has acquired Timm Ulrichs´s “Walter Benjamin: “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit” – Interpretation: Timm Ulrichs. Die Photokopie der Photokopie der Photokopie der Photokopie” from 1967.
Comprehending 100 framed, letter size paper sheets, this ten by ten piece arrangement on a wall shows a black and white, xeroxed book cover of Benjamin’s probably most cited essay on the reproducibility of artworks. Moving in lines from left to right and top to bottom the image fades – the last frame shows but a sheer grey. Upon closer inspection one sees: Ulrich xeroxed successively always the previous photocopy, whitening out the original image progressively and enhancing therewith also the oblique angel with every further print. As such, Ulrichs exposes the book to its own subject matter in most poignant ways: a textual original that talks about the reproducibility of artworks, presented as a wall of fading copies of that very same original. Although the first patent for an analogue photocopy machine was issued in the late 1930s, it was not until 1963 that the first desktop plain photocopier was introduced. In that sense Timm Ulrichs was one of the first to use a then recent technological invention that relates in many ways to Benjamin’s concerns.