Undine leaves (since 2009, book project)
30 x 45 cm and 67,5 x 45 cm - Edition of 5 + 1AP
With reference to the account of “Undine geht” by austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann, I portray women and girls of various ages. This creates a metaphorical female portrait which adds a new layer to the perspective of Undine.
Undine (lat. Unda=wave) gained its literary recognition in the romantic period.
It wasn't until the 1960's when thanks to Ingeborg Bachmann, this figure went through a transformation, turning Undine into a self confident and freedom striving character.
In the romantic period however, Undine is still considered to be a slight, emphatic, almost ethereal creature. She is depicted as a person who devotes herself to her own destiny and it is only through total commitment to a man that she is turned into an actual woman, passively surrendering unconditionally to the adversities of marriage. Bearing resemblance with Shakespeare’s Ophelia, she also ends up betrayed, outcast and left to drown.
Portrayed as such, she doesn’t act on anything out of free will.
She comes across helpless and as if from the moment she was born, her emotions and circumstances have ruled every part of her life.
In Ingeborg Bachmanns account of Undine she is very conscious of her own destiny, despises marriage and finds rescue in the water using it as means for regeneration. Before her final farewell, she strongly accuses all men in a powerfully worded monologue.
She describes her circumstances and the role she has continuously found herself in in order to bring about change.
It is also to be considered an attempt to pass the blame. Since the symbolic beginning of mankind
-in paradise- this kind of blame has always been directed at the woman, who while looking for self-awareness rocks the pre-existing order and
thereby disrupts it deeply.
And yet, this accusation is not entirely successful. The loving part of Undine, unable to exist in separation, forces her time and again to return to this vicious cycle.
Berlin I - Palace (2008)
These images were taken during the deconstruction of the Palace of the Republic in Berlin, former seat of the parliament of the German Democratic Republic.
Berlin II - Park (2008)
This place was erected during the former East Germany (GDR)-times as “Wohnpark“ (residential park) at Prenzlauer Berg. A kind of abandoned island in the middle of Berlin. Its original name is "Ernst-Thälmann-Park". Ernst Thaelmann (1886-1944) was an acclaimed hero of the communists in the era of the GDR. His nickname was Teddy.
Berlin III - Forum (2011)
60 x 90 cm - Edition of 3 + 1 AP
20 x 30 cm - Edition of 8 + 1 AP
A lady in front of a monument which shows a couple, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - the two philosophers and historians who spent their time working, socializing and thinking up ways to make everything better. This sculpture group belongs to a park which was constructed back in the days of a socialist GDR nearby the Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Whereas the sculpture once adorned the centre of the plaza, the philosophers have since been pushed to the side to make room for further developments.
Marx receives a visitor, a lady, possibly a lady from the East of Berlin who has accumulated a varied range of experiences in the course of her life, working during the times of Socialism, deeply convinced that people could live well and above all fair.
Now she's standing in front of him, in conversation with him. Does she approach him gently, does she herself find solace in speaking to him? Is it a reflection of our contemporary society in comparison to the ambitious ideas of a grand philosophy?
A deeply moving moment of meditation.