Helmut Salzinger, Activist, Critic, Philanthropist, Publisher & Poet (1935-1993)
Salzinger’s critical theory work around the cultural revolution of the 60’s, his philanthropic activities & political activism, and his idiosyncratic voice, played an important role in literary arts in Germany. In his early career as a reviewer & music critic he wrote for the prestigious journal Die Zeit and for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung (The South Germany News). A selection of his articles for the German music journal Sounds written under the pseudonym Jonas Überohr, are collected in the volume Best of Jonas Überohr – Popcritik 1966-1982, published posthumously in 2011 (Philo Fine Arts) and his poetic and literary bibliography remains compelling and impressive.
In the early 80’s, after his stint as a reviewer at Die Zeit was terminated, he moved to a farmhouse in the moorland village of Odisheim on the North Sea. He named his home Head Farm, & after giving up on his initial idea of a commune there, lived more privately, exploring the surrounding natural environment, writing, and carrying on philanthropic activities to support the arts, and students, artists & writers. He established the publishing house Headfarm Odisheim, and Head Farm became a gathering point for writers and thinkers. As well as books, Headfarm Odisheim published the literary magazine FALK, which appeared monthly for three years, 1986-1989, and was produced at Head Farm. A lifelong sufferer from diabetes, he died at his home in 1993.
Salzinger’s life is celebrated in the German Humus – Hommage á Helmut Salzinger (1996, Modick, Salzinger, Keller). However his work, largely not translated into English, has received little attention in the English-speaking world. With this documentary project Curmudgeonly Press hopes to bring more of Salzinger’s life and work to the English-speaking world.
The Retrospective will include three main components; a broadside and photo exhibit to take place at the Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe in Boulder, an opening event with live readings from Salzinger’s work, and an online interactive documentary. Additional readings and discussions will be held as well, time & place TBA.
A selection of newly translated poems and excerpts from Salzinger’s essays, presented in broadside format, with photographs of Salzinger, his home and the eco-region that inspired much of his poetic work, friends, and colleagues, highlight images and writing representative of his work.
The exhibit opens with a reading of Salzinger’s poetry by exhibit author and translator Clara Burns.
Interactive Media Archive
The online component, built using Zeega (http://zeega.org), an html5 platform for authoring interactive documentary work, will incorporate exhibition materials as well as recordings and photographs from the reading, experimenting in a new medium for documentary expression that will expand the reach and influence of the project.