Born 1948, lives and works in Belfast.
Rainer Pagel's art practice developed from the 1970s in Hamburg and Belfast, very much under the influence of Bazon Brock, Max Bense and Joseph Beuys while in Germany, and Alastair MacLennan, Adrian Hall, Tony Hill and Dr Slavka Sverakova in Northern Ireland.
After taking part on the invitation of Joseph Beuys in the Northern Ireland workshop in the Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany 1977, he became a co-founder of Art and Research Exchange in Belfast, and was very actively involved in establishing 22 Lombard Street in Belfast as an important art venue and centre for new and innovative art in NI. In 1979, Beuys invited him together with two others to mount an exhibition of the work in Northern Ireland within the context of his show in the Guggenheim Museum, New York.
After an absence of 21 years from the visual arts scene, during which Rainer Pagel engaged in “social sculpture” as per Beuys’ definition, he became a co-founder and the first chairperson of bbeyond, the performance art collective in Northern Ireland in 2000. Since 2006, he participates in most of the bbeyond events, and enjoys the monthly improvisation sessions. He was honoured to be invited to make performances – solo and within groups – by Catalyst, the Artist led Archive, the Performance Collective, the National Review of Live Arts, the UUJ, and most recently to take part in the "OPEN 10" Festival in Beijing in August 09.
Rainer Pagel states: "My art comments on belief systems, societal events, political developments, absurd ideas and conventions of communication and human interaction. Performance allows me to use process to illustrate how our world changes while we're not looking, and how we then misinterpret what we have not seen but think we know intimately."
Rainer Pagel. The New Northern Ireland - Part 3. Belfast. 2010. © Kasia Pagel.