Reinhard Mucha

Kunstmuseen Krefeld | Haus Lange

The first few grades at school constitute the phase when the child’s development is most determined by conditioning. The process of becoming an integrated member of society is the result of multiple determinants, and during these early school years the internalization of mindless “punishments” plays a constituent role. “Dos” and “don’ts” such as “I must keep quiet,” or “I must not talk in class” fill whole notebook pages of those pupils who fail to quietly knuckle under.

During the early ’80s, when most artists were painting loudly and vehemently, Reinhard Mucha exhibited his framed punishments together with 30 biographical portrait photos of himself. Step by step, the individually framed and painted photos traced the artist’s development backward from the age of 30 to 18 months. The earliest photo pictured the artist leaning against a pile of chairs next to a scooter. “I must keep quiet”

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