Felix Gmelin

Milliken Gallery

Felix Gmelin’s installation Tools and Grammar, 2007, is an atlas charting the way through a tangled thicket of emotion, from raw anarchy to nuanced compassion; it is a work of apocalyptic lyricism. To make this journey, Gmelin relies on a cast of characters and their art, literature, and politics: filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and V. I. Pudovkin, enlightenment writer Denis Diderot, Nazi art theorist Paul Schultze-Naumburg, and, the soul of the installation, the children in a German silent movie from 1926 titled Bei den Blinden (With the Blind Ones). Tools and Grammar is a walk-through montage of painting, photography, film, and sound design. If these independent branches of meaning defy a summing-up, they awaken the tacit knowledge that tragedy, once afoot, places great value on the demands of the heart.

Bei den Blinden is a documentary film about progressive education; blind schoolchildren

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