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Muster

Artist: Clemens von Wedemeyer
installation, video | Three-channel HD-film installation | 2012

Clemens von Wedemeyer’s three-channel HD-film installation, Muster (Rushes) was another politically loaded work that, like Tristanoil, was made for dOCUMENTA (13). Like most of von Wedemeyer’s works, it’s an essay on the limits of historical reconstruction. This time, he looks at the painful past of the former Benedictine monastery Breitenau, which in the past century-and-a-half has been used as a prison, a forced labor turned concentration camp, a girls’ reformatory, and finally an open psychiatric clinic—a lot of violence even for Germany. Muster (Rushes) consists of three half-hour films. One shows the liberation of Breitenau by American troops at the end of World War II, during the Battle of Kassel; another follows the shooting of a film inspired by the late Eberhard Itzenplitz’s 1970 TV movie Bambule: Fürsorge–Sorge für wen?; the third a group of students with their teacher on a school outing to Breitenau in the early 1990s. The films are discreetly interconnected: one of the liberators bears some resemblance to the teacher, and the students are shown watching a film that looks like the original Bambule. The three films are visually synched with another—when for example a soldier enters Breitenau’s church, the pupils can be seen in the same space. Muster (Rushes) was projected onto a triangular construction set in the middle of the room, which means that at best one could see two of the films at the same time, while the third remains hidden. To paraphrase Robert Frost: Germany is hard to see.

Exhibitions

Documenta 13 | 2012.06.09 - 2012.09.16 | Brüder-Grimm-Museum | documenta-Halle(Kassel, Germany) | Hauptbahnhof(Kassel, Germany) | Karlsaue | Karlsaue park(Kassel, Germany) | Museum Fridericianum(Kassel, Germany) | Neue Galerie(Kassel, Germany) | Oberste Gasse 4(Kassel, Germany) | Orangerie(Kassel, Germany) | Ottoneum(Kassel, Germany) | Untere Karlsstr. 14

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