In the Stadtgarten Freiburg stands the so-called Illumina. In 2014, the statue was damaged by unknown persons and remains in this condition today. Since then, the statue has been missing its head; the Illumina has become ‘the decapitated’. In preparation for the discussion, possible answers of the statue to the artist's questions were found in collaboration with a group of people from Freiburg: Birgit Heidtke (Feminist history-werkstatt), Sévérine Kpoti (HereandBlack), Oliver Matthes (FREIeBÜRGER) and Dieter Roeschmann (Municipal Comission Art in public Space).
Bust Talk–Hans Klöpfer
Hans Kloepfer was a doctor and local poet and is still an important identity figure in Styria today. But he was also a convinced National Socialist and that from the first hour. Nevertheless, a bust of him stands on the Schlossberg in Graz, among other places.
A conversation with an East African Songye mask that has been in the possession of Kunsthalle Emden for several years. As a matter of fact, the provenance of the mask is unclear.
Bust Talk–Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven is known as a great composer. But he also had a keen interest in economics and was concerned a fair payment. The conversation with Beethoven not only revolves around these economic questions, but also leads to the idealistic value of artistic work to society.
This conversation took place with an anonymous woman sitting on the grave of Johann Jakob Bachofen. Bachofen is the author of The Mother‘s Right a controversial book about how an early matriarchy evolved into a culturally superior patriarchy. Our conversation is not only about Bachofen, but mostly about the appearance and use of allegories within statutes.
Bust Talk–Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
The social reform of Friedrich W. Raiffeisen were a response to industrialization and the rampant capitalism of his time. Raiffeisen appealed for a “good capitalism” and a society based on solidarity, because “growing inequality is one of the greatest dangers to society.”
Bust Talk–Josef Werndl
This two-part series of Bust Talks took place at the Werndl Memorial in Steyr. Josef Werndl was an Austrian arms manufacturer and an important figure in early industrial capitalism. He saw himself as a social capitalist, as he invested in education, medical care and the infrastructure of his workers and his region. But can something be social if profit is part of it? The Werndl monument itself illustrates the core of this economic system much more honestly: it is based on oppression and social inequality. The industrialist stands raised on a column, while his workers sit below. I interviewed not only Mr. Werndl, but also one of his workers.
Bust Talk–Der Arbeiter [The Worker]
This is the second part of the Bust Talks series at the Werndl monument - this time with one of Werndl's workers. The conversation is about the failure of the social democratic movement in the 20th century and how to counteract the greed of the capitalistic system.
*In 1953 Marcel Duchamp proposed a witty equation: A Guest + A Host = A Ghost indicating a somewhat magical merging of the two figures of hospitality into an entity between the self and other.