Klaus Rinke is a German artist who explored several artistic means (painting, sculpture) before concentrating on body art. He especially used the movement of the body, captured through performance and photographs, as a means to express the passing of time. The theme of the clock itself, especially the one used in German railways, is then introduced in relationship with the performances or as the subject of later installations, for example obsessively repeated in the Zeitfield sculpture in Düsseldorf.
I was born in 1939, in Wattenscheid, Germany. My father was a railway man, my grandfather was a railway man and my great-grandfather was a railway man. I grew up near a railway station with numerous railway tracks and railway clocks. As a child, the railway tracks served as my daily playground; at night the clocks became my moons. Early on I incorporated these clocks into my life. In the evening, when I was young, I was required to be at home at 8:00 PM on the dot or face severe reprimand, so I depended upon these clocks. Each day the ever-present clock faces slowly ticked their way inexorably towards the eminent hour of departure towards home – like time bombs for us in the midst of a real war – as each evening became a race against time. The exactitude of these railway clocks and their power over my freedom encouraged in me at a very young age a sense of discipline and the notion of exactitude. Later in my late 20’s and early 30’s the German railway clock and the notion of time and duration would become a major factor in my artistic expression.
Klaus Rinke website
All images © Klaus Rinke, except where otherwise noted.