Kai Althoff & Yair Oelbaum

  • Forerunner still]

    Film Still © Kai Althoff and Yair Oelbaum, 2016

Kai Althoff was born as the second child to his parents, Ingrid and Dieter Althoff in 1966 in Cologne.

His mother studied graphic design, yet stopped to pursue this path to raise her two sons. His father went through the various stages of a police detective’s career. Kai Althoff had his first solo show in Berlin in 1993, at Galerie Lukas and Hoffman. He would do many things, from environments and performances to video-films and music. Painting and drawing was deeply interwoven as a primary vehicle of demonstration. Then conceptually ridden, even if only for means of being able to explain his work, he never conquered his innate tendency to be entirely absorbed by the persona whose work he executed, his very self, wishing to be another.

Yair Oelbaum, aged 29, grew up in West-Hempstead, New York. He received a bachelor of arts from New York University, where one of his professors, Mister Brandon Stosuy a critic, writer and journalist, then working on a series of evolving discursive happenings with Kai Althoff, introduced them to each other.

This encounter, after some knotty wrangling, led Yair Oelbaum to write a theatre play, entitled: There we will be buried, in which Althoff was to play Oelbaum’s counterpart Lydia, a woman in search of her lost child. The play was performed on various occasions, including The London International Festival of Theatre at the ICA.

Apart from its performative and visual execution that seemed to derive from an ill stricken 15 Year old child’s fever laden dream, in which an elaboration of a play currently explored in drama-class, is driven to implosions of a sensuality supreme, its spinal column was all language, words coming from speakers to which mouths would lip-sync.

And then spoken language is almost entirely subdued in FORERUNNER, which Oelbaum and Althoff started to film in 2013, and finished in 2016. Argumentative bombers having lost all attraction, light, several female protagonists with their unfathomable knowledge of what will be when Moshiach (the Messiah) comes, and a forbearance not to be confused to the slightest with tepidity, are the elements to rule this disposition.

Yair Oelbaum received his master’s degree in clinical social work in in 2016.

He always continued to write and take photographs of objects in spaces, which are of inexplicable beauty, yet from a world that has no need and esteem for human struggle. The aestheticism of this work is close to that of a world in its last revolt against final transformation.