Peter Adair, Kasper Akhøj & Tamar Guimarães, Wallace Berman, Franco Pinna, Harry Smith, Suzanne Treister, Rosemarie Trockel, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
5 September – 20 December 2015


"My movies are made by God; I am just the medium for them". The experimental filmmaker, mystic and ethnomusicologist, Harry Everett Smith was a major protagonist of American counterculture of the 1960s and was especially well known in Europe for his influential Anthology of American Folk Music. His works combine autobiographical links to 19th-century occultism and spiritism with anthropological (sound) studies on the shamanism of the Lummi Nation and experiments with psychedelic substances. Using Harry Smith’s life and work as its starting point, the group exhibition "I See, So I See So. Messages from Harry Smith" presents artists and theorists working at the interface between visual art, film and anthropology. In their examinations of mediumism as a ritual, experimental and artistic practice, each of them raise specific questions concerning media semantics, exploring the politics of the aestheticization, commodification and globalization of ecstatic practices and their experimental appropriation and transformations through the means of art. The 'medium' itself–in its two-fold sense as technical media and personal medium–presents itself in this way in the crosshairs of divergent artistic and scientific approaches and connections.

Curators: Regina Barunke and Anja Dreschke, Cologne
Collaborations: Harry Smith Archive, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main


I See, So I See So. Messages from Harry Smith
Published by Temporary Gallery, Cologne
Texts by Regina Barunke, Anja Dreschke
German / English


23 October 2015
Francis McKee: Even the Dead Rise Up

29 October 2015
Joachim Koester and Michaela Schäuble: Tarantism Revisited. Ecstatic and Mimetic. Practices in Art and Anthropology
Joachim Koester: Tarantism, 2007

30 October 2015
Ulrich van Loyen: Mit der Stimme eines Anderen. Macht und Besessenheit im Kult des 'Heiligen' Alberto. Filme von Luigi di Gianni

3 November 2015
Henning Engelke and Rani Singh: Harry Smith
Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main

4 November 2015
Henning Engelke and Rani Singh: Harry Smith. Underground Ethnographer

7 November 2015
Harry Smith: Film #12. Heaven and Earth Magic, 1957-62

12 November 2015
Ilka Becker: Magic Mushrooms (Bruce Conner, Storm De Hirsh, Étienne O'Leary, Gary Lee-Nova, Harry Smith)

29 November 2015
Heike Behrend (and Armin Linke): Satan Crucified, 2011

3 December 2015
Rainer Knepperges and Ehler Voss: Ghost Hunting

17 December 2015
Erhard Schüttpelz and Carlo Peters: Halleluwah!
Harry Smith: Film #1-5,7 Early Abstractions, 1939-56



Funding and Support

Academy of the Arts of the World
Kunststiftung NRW
Goethe-Institut Germany
Kulturamt der Stadt Köln
RheinEnergie Stiftung Kultur
Deltax contemporary, Wirtschafts- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH
Hotel Chelsea


Brandl Transport GmbH


1— Harry Smith: Film #14, Late Superimpositions, 1964. Courtesy Harry Smith Archives, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
2-4 — exhibition view
5 — Harry Everett Smith: Film #17, Mirror Animations Extended, 1962-1976
6 — exhibition view
7 — Kasper Akhøj & Tamar Guimarães: A Família do Capitão Cervásio (Capitain Gervasio's Family), 2013/2014
Photo: Simon Vogel