Exhibition "beziehungsweise n" by Rolf Behme in the KWS Biotechnikum

Einbeck, 9.11.2023

Relationships are fundamental for living in a society. The paintings, photographs and sculptures of the Hildesheim artist Rolf Behme have relationships as one common theme: relationships between persons and objects, between persons and situations, between people. His works are the result of looking for and finding impressions during his travels to different continents. In his selection for the rooms of the KWS Biotechnikum, he explores relationships in a variety of forms and makes them visible. His exhibition "beziehungsweise n" (relation ways) has now opened and can be seen until February 1, 2024. Several guided tours are planned the dates of which will be announced in time.

Rolf Behme, Artist, Dr. Sabine Foraita, HAWK Hildesheim, Dr. Felix Büchting, Spokesman of the Executive Board of KWS at the exhibition opening

Exhibition opening beziehungsweise n; from left: Rolf Behme, Artist, Dr. Sabine Foraita, HAWK Hildesheim, Dr. Felix Büchting, Spokesman of the Executive Board of KWS; Image author: Florian Spieker; Use of image: Use is permitted for editorial articles about KWS provided the source is acknowledged. Commercial distribution to third parties is not permitted.

For Rolf Behme, chairs are synonyms of human behavior; they represent relationships and ways of relating and inspire reflection. The exhibition "beziehungsweise n" refers to an examination of different forms, approaches, and manifestations of relationships between people. "Chairs describe a kind of attitude that one adopts towards the world," said Dr. Sabine Foraita, Professor of "Design Science and Design Theory" at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) in Hildesheim and Dean of the Faculty of Design. "The way of sitting, the quality of sitting, but also the place of sitting is always key." For designers, the design of a chair is also a challenge, because a chair not only symbolizes the attitude towards the world but is also to be understood as a status symbol, she said.

In Rolf Behme's photo series "Relations", in which different chairs can be seen in very different environments, there are neither figures nor people. However, they offer space and reason for personal projections, which each viewer compares with their own experiences and socialization: the appearance generates a conception. The chair situations appear familiar, even if the places are unfamiliar. This can be a conversation between friends or strangers, but also the isolated chair that represents loneliness. The mental notion of fitting in by sitting down, locating myself, is familiar and practised, so that it becomes possible to place oneself in other, different situations, to interpret and identify with them.

The subject of the chairs is continued in Rolf Behme's exhibition "beziehungsweise n" in the sculptural exploration. The steel chairs characterize human qualities such as recklessness, timidity, or dominance. The chairs are presented on pedestals, almost at the viewer's eye level, and refer to the chronological course of a relationship through the already started rusting process. Other chair sculptures show two chairs interacting with each other in dancing, acrobatic movements, or a single chair dancing with itself. The Man series is a confrontation of relationships based on this - sculptures that look like dynamic people falling, flying or set in motion by the wind. One of these figures fights with a chair, crushing it.

"Rolf Behme's painterly work is extremely colorful," said Dr. Sabine Foraita at the opening of the exhibition "beziehungsweise n". The triptych "Wahnsinn" ("Madness"), which was only created in 2023, illustrates Rolf Behme's approach: The discovery of a field postcard that his grandmother received during the First World War led Rolf Behme to work on the never-ending madness of war. He transforms a soldier in a heroic pose into a new, abstract visual world using elements from comic strips and references from other artistic worlds. The gaze is drawn to a bright red box in which the long-desired solution to all conflicts could be found. "That would be extremely welcome in view of the current armed conflicts on this earth," affirmed Dr. Sabine Foraita. "But for this to happen, both the minds and the relationships of all people would have to function in a better way."

"The title that the artist Rolf Behme chose for his exhibition in the Biotechnikum is full of wordplay," said Dr. Felix Büchting, Chairman of the Executive Board of KWS, at the vernissage. Behme's relationship to KWS is particularly evident in the beet sculptures. In the colorful exhibition, the KWS sugar beet shines in KWS orange. Seven sculptures cast in concrete have been created on the basis of a sugar beet from a KWS greenhouse.

With more than 60 exhibitions since 1999, KWS also likes to give regional artists the opportunity to exhibit their works in the KWS Biotechnikum. "Art and science need space to be creative and create something new," says Dr. Felix Büchting. That is why KWS also shows art in the middle of the research building.

"beziehungsweise n" – Rolf Behme

About KWS

KWS is one of the world's leading plant breeding companies. More than 5,000 employees* in more than 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.8 billion in fiscal 2022/2023. KWS has been run independently as a family-owned company for more than 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of corn, sugarbeet, cereal, vegetable, rapeseed and sunflower seed. KWS uses state-of-the-art plant breeding methods to increase farmers' yields and further improve plants' resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To realize this goal, the company invested more than €300 million in research and development in the past fiscal year.

*excluding seasonal employees

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