en cours

Mensengesäß, 1996

Exposition du 25.10.19 au 01.12.19
Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

Forde Mensengesäß, 1996

en cours

Mensengesäß, 1996

Exposition du 25.10.19 au 01.12.19

Alex Wissel

This photo was made during the 1000th year jubilee of the village where I grew up. Part of the celebration was a huge procession of the villagers dressed up in characters drawn on the village’s history. I played a person infected by plague in the middle-age section of the parade. It´s one of the most vivid memories I have — walking with almost the entire population in a seemingly endless time warp through the little streets of the tiny village. Somehow there was a diffuse atmosphere of greatness flying around the proud citizens, collectively overcoming the mechanics of time. People of all ages, classes and backgrounds were performing a kind of fake or imaginary history, because obviously there had been no real professional research conducted on the history of the village before staging the procession. But this didn´t really matter at all, because what was the most striking part in this crude appropriation process was that both – conservative and anarchical – projections of the past were performed together in the procession.

Twenty-three years later I´m more interested in the reasons we don´t know so many left-wing interpretations of the past. Where and when did right conservative powers started to perform national identity? How did right-wing ideas of nationality and history become hegemonial?

Starting with the exhibition at Forde, I will try to trace how this right-wing construction of the past was made by artists with a so called authoritarian personality in a national collaborative process between history painting, national monuments and storytelling at costume feasts in the 19th century. And how these old anti-democratic reactionary ideas are nowadays reactivated by the new right with the helping hand of neoliberal politics. Please come by, I will probably give a kind of lecture with an introduction to the topic during the opening!