It is light

Ada Frände, Blalla W. Hallmann, Julia Heyward, James T. Hong, Udo Lefin, Rachel Reupke, Bernard Szajner, Camilla Wills

May 11 – July 28, 2024

Opening: Friday 10 May, from 7pm

It is light

With Ada Frände, Blalla W. Hallmann, Julia Heyward, James T. Hong, Udo Lefin, Rachel Reupke, Bernard Szajner, and Camilla Wills.

Opening on Friday, 10 May, from 7pm
11 May – 28 July 2024

It is light is a two-part exhibition realised between Bonner Kunstverein and Haus Mödrath – Räume für Kunst.

Curated by Fatima Hellberg 

Speaking with Dr Eva Zeltner, the custodian and carer of Blalla W. Hallmann’s estate, we reflected on the inner necessity and energy of this body of work. At times, she also cared for Blalla: the intensity was occasionally difficult to reconcile or contain with the demands of what it means to function, to be functional. Each painting holds everything and loops back on itself – a circular trap, a circular joke. He is an important anchor in this show: the will and desperation of this prolific total work, collapsing into life, into art and vice versa. It is unhinged history painting – too much – and, as all effective history painting, a science-fiction of the present.

As a way of introduction, Zeltner shared her first memory: the light of a bunker opening. The light is blinding. The memory has been told many times, its original borders fussy. “We are responsible for the child but we don’t know how it feels about us. Half the story is missing.”

Reflecting on it, she thinks this is why she might have connected with Blalla’s work in the first place, that sense of light, a life force, an intensity, and a certain stubborn belief in the crack. This is a belief, or hope, that sometimes shines through from beneath what is shown.

With special thanks to Andreas Hölscher. With much gratitude to Dr Eva Zeltner and Patrick Ebensperger.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle II and Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle II and Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Julia Heyward, Shake Daddy Shake. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Julia Heyward, Shake Daddy Shake. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle I and Udo Lefin, Cuantas ventanas tiene tu casa? (How many Windows does your House Have?). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle I and Udo Lefin, Cuantas ventanas tiene tu casa? (How many Windows does your House Have?). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle I. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle I. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Udo Lefin, antas ventanas tiene tu casa? (How many Windows does your House Have?). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Udo Lefin, antas ventanas tiene tu casa? (How many Windows does your House Have?). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Ausstellungsansicht mit Udo Lefin, Cuantas ventanas tiene tu casa? (Wie viele Fenster hat dein Haus und Blalla W. Hallmann, Mützlein BLALLA is the ONE and Filizid. Foto: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Ausstellungsansicht mit Udo Lefin, Cuantas ventanas tiene tu casa? (Wie viele Fenster hat dein Haus und Blalla W. Hallmann, Mützlein BLALLA is the ONE and Filizid. Foto: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Filicide. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Filicide. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, The Extended Holy Family goes for a Walk on the Milky Way – Blalla Star Bag for my Father, the Painter Ewald Hallmann. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, The Extended Holy Family goes for a Walk on the Milky Way – Blalla Star Bag for my Father, the Painter Ewald Hallmann. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard and The Extended Holy Family goes for a Walk on the Milky Way – Blalla Star Bag for my Father, the Painter Ewald Hallmann. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard and The Extended Holy Family goes for a Walk on the Milky Way – Blalla Star Bag for my Father, the Painter Ewald Hallmann. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, The Obituary and The Song of Songs of the Emperor Gold Fly (Calliphoridae) Blowfly. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, The Obituary and The Song of Songs of the Emperor Gold Fly (Calliphoridae) Blowfly. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, LUNACY (Dedicated to the Mother of all Mothers. You beautiful – so horribly sadistic) (Oh Maria help?) (Praised be what makes hard!). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, LUNACY (Dedicated to the Mother of all Mothers. You beautiful – so horribly sadistic) (Oh Maria help?) (Praised be what makes hard!). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum and Father, not my Will but yours be done! As on Earth, so in Heaven. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum and Father, not my Will but yours be done! As on Earth, so in Heaven. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, OoooooH OooooH OooooH, You shall honour your Father and Mother, Heini’s Duty Goes – Fatherland High-time at Last on the Soil of the Western Community of Values, Father, Father, why have you forsaken me!, Whom the LORD Loves, he Chastens IT, Ecce – Homo, YES YES, holy, holy, holy and Father, not my Will but yours be done! As on Earth, so in Heaven. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, OoooooH OooooH OooooH, You shall honour your Father and Mother, Heini’s Duty Goes – Fatherland High-time at Last on the Soil of the Western Community of Values, Father, Father, why have you forsaken me!, Whom the LORD Loves, he Chastens IT, Ecce – Homo, YES YES, holy, holy, holy and Father, not my Will but yours be done! As on Earth, so in Heaven. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, OoooooH OooooH OooooH, You shall honour your Father and Mother and Heini’s Duty Goes – Fatherland High-time at Last on the Soil of the Western Community of Values. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, OoooooH OooooH OooooH, You shall honour your Father and Mother and Heini’s Duty Goes – Fatherland High-time at Last on the Soil of the Western Community of Values. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: to Learn the Biblical Themes in a Playful Way: “Mothers and Sons”, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: To Help Parents and Children get to know Each Other Better und Blalla- Spielothek for Children: Deeper Under- standing of the Cosmic Connections between Religion: God-Human (back view). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: to Learn the Biblical Themes in a Playful Way: “Mothers and Sons”, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: To Help Parents and Children get to know Each Other Better und Blalla- Spielothek for Children: Deeper Under- standing of the Cosmic Connections between Religion: God-Human (back view). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Ada Frände presents the Männer Museum. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Camilla Wills, Recognition and Misrecognition. Foto: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Camilla Wills, Recognition and Misrecognition. Foto: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: James T. Hong, Surveillance of a Camp in Spring. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: James T. Hong, Surveillance of a Camp in Spring. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla- Spielothek for Children: Deeper Under- standing of the Cosmic Connections between Religion: God-Human, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: To Help Parents and Children get to know Each Other Better, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: to Learn the Biblical Themes in a Playful Way: “Mothers and Sons”, A Candle, a Bouquet… What more could a person want...?! and Filicide. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla- Spielothek for Children: Deeper Under- standing of the Cosmic Connections between Religion: God-Human, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: To Help Parents and Children get to know Each Other Better, Blalla-Spielothek for Children: to Learn the Biblical Themes in a Playful Way: “Mothers and Sons”, A Candle, a Bouquet… What more could a person want...?! and Filicide. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, OoooooH OooooH OooooH, You shall honour your Father and Mother, Heini’s Duty Goes – Fatherland High-time at Last on the Soil of the Western Community of Values, Father, Father, why have you forsaken me! And Whom the LORD Loves, he Chastens IT. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, OoooooH OooooH OooooH, You shall honour your Father and Mother, Heini’s Duty Goes – Fatherland High-time at Last on the Soil of the Western Community of Values, Father, Father, why have you forsaken me! And Whom the LORD Loves, he Chastens IT. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Filicide and The Hour of the Hollow Cross Singers. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Filicide and The Hour of the Hollow Cross Singers. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Filicide. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Filicide. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla- Spielothek for Children: Deeper Under- standing of the Cosmic Connections between Religion: God-Human. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla- Spielothek for Children: Deeper Under- standing of the Cosmic Connections between Religion: God-Human. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, The Extended Holy Family goes for a Walk on the Milky Way – Blalla Star Bag for my Father, the Painter Ewald Hallmann and Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, The Extended Holy Family goes for a Walk on the Milky Way – Blalla Star Bag for my Father, the Painter Ewald Hallmann and Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla’s Gourmet Cupboard. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Ausstellungsansicht mit Blalla W. Hallmann, Blallas Spezereienschrank. Foto: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Ausstellungsansicht mit Blalla W. Hallmann, Blallas Spezereienschrank. Foto: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle I, Udo Lefin, Cuantas ventanas tiene tu casa? (How many Windows does your House Have?) and Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla Studios, Mustang jeans jacket and Cap BLALLA is the ONE. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle I, Udo Lefin, Cuantas ventanas tiene tu casa? (How many Windows does your House Have?) and Blalla W. Hallmann, Blalla Studios, Mustang jeans jacket and Cap BLALLA is the ONE. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Udo Lefin, Untitled (Cuántos pasos me regalas) (How many Steps you Give me). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Udo Lefin, Untitled (Cuántos pasos me regalas) (How many Steps you Give me). Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Bernard Szajner, Some Deaths Take Forever. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Bernard Szajner, Some Deaths Take Forever. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: James T. Hong, Surveillance of a Camp in Spring. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: James T. Hong, Surveillance of a Camp in Spring. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: James T. Hong, The Duck of Nature/The Duck of God. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: James T. Hong, The Duck of Nature/The Duck of God. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Rachel Reupke, Interlude. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Rachel Reupke, Interlude. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Julia Heyward, Shake Daddy Shake. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Julia Heyward, Shake Daddy Shake. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle II. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle II. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle II, Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious and James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Exhibition view: Ada Frände, Haltestelle II, Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious and James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious and James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.

It is light, Bonner Kunstverein, 2024. Installation view: Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious and James T. Hong, Condor: A Film from California. Photo: Mareike Tocha.