POP Paradiso is celebrating 40 years of Museum Abteiberg from June 23 to 26. The festival invites Mönchengladbach residents to take part in BILDER OHNE GELD (Engl.: Pictures No quid), a democratic art campaign by artist Jens Ullrich. For a number of days over the course of the festival, the artist will host a hands-on workshop at the museum, during which time he will give anyone interested clear instructions as to how to scan and wallpaper BILDER OHNE GELD within their own four walls. 

BILDER OHNE GELD — a recently-released volume of ready-to-reproduce images put out by publishers Franz and Walther König — finds Ullrich removing his work from the ubiquitous purchasing, money, and ownership models of the current art market in an attempt to change the way his images are viewed and used.

Unlike open access concepts, BILDER OHNE GELD is an analogue source of images that can only be accessed via public libraries or other places in which the book is displayed. Those interested in taking pictures from the book into their own home or professional environment will find simple instructions for doing so, along with three hundred scan templates for use in printing large-scale murals. Similar murals have recently featured at Tate Modern, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Schirn, ZKM, Museum Abteiberg, and numerous other venues around the world.

The multi-day, museum-hosted workshop during POP Paradiso should make it even easier for visitors to reproduce large images from the book and enjoy BILDER OHNE GELD at home, at their workplace, or any place of their choosing.

The conflation of art and money has long since been apparent. In an effort to (as he puts it) keep commercial transfer from turning the pictures into a dichotomy for him, Ullrich shifted his attention the conditions of the work and has focused on creating a more consistent tie between artwork and motif.

“Visual art has always stood in conflict with technical reproducibility. Framing, packing, conservation, transport, storage, insurance, efforts to create rarity — the whole range of measures to create and increase value have made it a fiction and hindered its freedom on a moral and material level. When I realized that the only logical thing to do would be to publish the image technology, to print and wallpaper the motifs as images without money, I had to weigh [that against] wanting to continue to live from the sale of my work. I’m optimistic that my images will be less dependent on other people’s wealth in the future and that, in doing so, they will also represent more freedom in art.” – Jens Ullrich

POP Paradiso marks 40 years of Museum Abteiberg – help us bring BILDER OHNE GELD to audiences beyond the city limits.

POP Paradiso was initiated in 2021 in cooperation with Museum Abteiberg, Museumsverein Abteiberg e.V., and Kulturbüro MG, and organized by the agency terz machen. It is held under the auspices of the Mayor of Mönchengladbach, Felix Heinrichs. The festival in its anniversary year 2022 is sponsored by the Hans Fries Foundation, Heinrich Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG, and Gladbach & Westend district management.

BILDER OHNE GELD is supported by Kunststiftung NRW.