The last forty years of Horst Ademeit’s life were dedicated to the documentation of the noxious influence of cold rays on himself and his environment. With the help of Polaroid photography as well as analog and digital photography, he secured the material of his daily observations, also documenting descriptively the smells, sounds, and the atmosphere of his observations on the white frame of the Polaroids.
These observational photos document the efficacy of this threatening power on his immediate life environment, showing construction site work, abandoned bicycles, accumulations of garbage, and oil slicks. He also recorded regularly the behavior of spiders and fruit flies, painstakingly retaining the date of each observation, often over months, on the Polaroids. Aside from the most current headlines of BILD-Zeitung, Ademeit arranged measuring instruments, letters, and food on the daily images. Each of the several thousands of daily images is numbered, dated, and inscribed with his miniature handwriting that is hardly readable.
In order to be able to calculate the burden inflicted by cold rays more precisely, Ademeit also employed an arsenal of measuring instruments (Geiger counters, thermometers, lightmeters, etc.) and developed his own methods for measuring temperature fluctuations [and possible other causes] of a fissure in his tabletop. Detailed notes can also be found in his numerous, densely inscribed leporellos. Apart from the photographic and written references, Ademeit also turned on a lathe hundreds of little spheres from various woods, which, placed on his body, served him in warding off the cold rays. Since 1999, Horst Ademeit also worked with digital cameras noting his observations on separate text sheets.
Ademeit developed a complex recording system for the documentation of cold rays, in which repetitive motifs and descriptions form firm relationships. The necessity of recording and the conclusive logic of his system required a compulsory routine that determined the structure of his entire day.
photo | brut : collection bruno decharme et compagnie, les rencontres d’arles in collaboration with abcd and the american folk art museum (new york), les rencontres de la photographie, mécanique générale, from july 1st to september 22nd, 2019.
the museum of everything, from june 10th, 2017, to april 2nd, 2018, MONA (museum of old and new art), berriedale, australia.
brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, from october 29th to january 16th 2017, musées de belfort, belfort, france, curator christian Berst; associated curator brut pop.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, works from the treger/saint silvestre collection, oliva creative factory, from june 18th to february 28th, 2017, são joão da madeira, portugal.
art brut : breaking the boundaries, works from the treger-saint silvestre collection, from june 1st to september 11th, 2014, curator: christian berst, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, portugal.
HEIMsuchung – unsichere räume in der kunst der gegenwart, kunstmuseum bonn, germany, from may 9th to august 25th, 2013.
horst ademeit. secret universe, hamburger bahnhof, berlin, from may 13th to september 25th, 2011.
photo|brut, collection bruno decharme & compagnie, paris, flammarion ed., abcd and the american folk art museum, 2019.
exhibition catalog, brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, belfort, les presses du réel ed., musées de belfort, 2017.
exhibition catalog, do the write thing : read between the lines, new york, christian berst art brut ed., 2014.
exhibition catalog, collection treger-saint silvestre (from june 1st to september 11st, 2014, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal), paris, galerie christian berst art brut ed., 2014.
udo kittelmann and claudia dichter (éds.), horst ademeit. secret universe, cologne, 2011.