Klauke is widely accepted as an initiator of Performance Art. Since the 1970s, he has photographed and filmed his performances in order to illustrate and to document them. In later works photography and film have become an autonomous medium in which the human body (often the artist’s own) appears in surreal, carefully staged scenarios: a hallmark that continues in the artist’s work today.
Klauke’s provocative photographs are characterized by a critical examination of socially defined behavioral patterns and gender norms, using the body as an integral means of expression. In Klauke’s work, today’s universal paranoia has a visual analogy in the series Aesthetic Paranoia, whereby a curtain of hair obscures the entire vision of the self. The self is walled in within its paranoid condition and, at times, entangled with itself. In 2015 Annely Juda Fine Art presented a major exhibition of photographic prints from the Aesthetic Paranoia series.
Pioneering in his introduction of ‘Body Art’ as well as photographic methods such as the series or the tableau, Klauke has had a profound influence on late twentieth-century and contemporary art. Oscillating between the poles of attraction and repulsion in equal measure, his works deal with threats to mental and physical identity through the power of the media and the mechanization of all areas of life.
Jurgen Klauke was born in 1943 and studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany. Since 1968 has lived and worked in Cologne where he is also a professor at the Art Academy for Media. He has exhibited widely in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and the UK as well as further afield in Japan and the US. His works are held in public collections and museums in Germany and internationally.