Wartist presents: “Furtive” by Simon Menner (Berlin)
From 18 March 2011, Wartist presents photographic works by Simon Menner in the premises of the Berlin-based political consultancy republik movida GmbH. The exhibition “Furtive”, curated by Martin Bayer, will show parts of two cycles, “Camouflage” and “Murder Weapons”. Reinhold Robbe, Wehrbeauftragter des Deutschen Bundestages 2005-2010,1 will give a welcoming address.
For the cycle “Camouflage”, the artist took photos of a Bundeswehr2 sniper team in nature. The soldiers are perfectly camouflaged and thus not to be seen; their rifle, however, is aimed at the photographer – and thus at the viewer. At first glance, one can see nice landscapes, but with the information above, the images receive another dimension: threat, violence, war are latent, even if they are not visible at first sight.
The cycle “Murder Weapons” consists of photos from the archive of Berlin’s police force3: pieces of evidence that had been used to kill people. There are classic weapons such as guns, knives or knuckle dusters, but also self-made (and sometimes rather bizarre) instruments of murder such as clubs, or per se harmless objects such as statues or paper weights. Also here, the context is important for the viewer who knows that there is a story behind the objects, but ultimately, it remains hidden.
Simon Menner, born in 1978 in Emmendingen, concluded his study in the master class of Prof. Stan Douglas at Universität der Künste Berlin.4 In 2009, the artist won the IBB Photo Award. Not the least, he attracted our attention with his fascinating exhibition “Images from the secret STASI archives” (see Wartist from 17 January 2011).
Menner is interested in the effect of subjets or objects on the viewer: how does the impression change when another level or a background story become known? Within seconds, the peaceful landscape could become a war scenario, while a harmless statue could be used to kill. In both parts of the exhibition, the visitor has to follow the artist quite a bit, by believing that he is telling the truth: that somewhere in the picture, the sniper team is hiding that that the murder weapons were in fact used for such a purpose.
After the exhibitions “Textile Art – Matter of Conflict” with works by Jan Bejšovec and “Memories” with photos by Jürgen Graetz, this is already the third cooperation between republik movida GmbH and Wartist. The political consultancy, closely located to the German House of Parliament and the Federal Chancellery and managed by Lars Rohwer and Jan Strecker, is thus playing its part in the close connection between politics, media, economy and culture.
Reinhold Robbe, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces 2005-2010, will deliver a welcoming address. The artist will be present.
18 March 2011, 1800h
We kindly ask for the visitors’ registration, as attendance is limited!