Project Berliner “Schloss-Humboldtforum”
In the past few years I have accompanied the development process of the Berlin City Palace / Humboldt Forum both artistically and photographically.
The artistic treatment of the topic in an extensive series of mixed techniques on canvas and paper relates to the changing history of the building, to its location and its urban and intellectual environment.
In doing so, I tried to create a tension between art and cultural-historical aspects and political-historical contexts in a collage-like understanding.
Max Ernst says roughly about this pictorial method: “Collage is the systematic exploitation of the accidental or artificially provoked meeting of two or more alien realities on an apparently unsuitable level – and the spark of poetry that skips when approaching.
The approach to the topic is in a certain sense a game with pictorial spaces, a game with quotations and cultural-historical motifs.
The most varied historical views of the palace and its ruins after its destruction appear, as well as the remains of the demolished “Palace of the Republic”, which occupied the site during the time of the GDR dictatorship and which suffered the same fate.
But future views of the Humboldt Forum, the statue of Frederick the Great under the Linden trees, his death mask and many other historical details that can only be discovered when looking at the pictures for the second and third time are also used.
Construction site situations slide into the picture as snapshots of the upheaval.
Manuscript quotations from Andreas Schlueter and Friedrich II, for example, like his marginal note on tolerance, playfully enter into connections with well-known motifs and their history, are placed in unfamiliar contextual and spatial contexts and provoke and thus enable associations and interpretations of new relationships.
It’s like playing with a kaleidoscope that creates new aesthetic orders and arrangements in front of the beholder’s eye with every movement.
My endeavor to grasp and work on a topic visually is comparable to entering a room that you can walk in different directions or walking around a sculpture in order to look at it from different perspectives and thus to understand it more comprehensively.
Technically, the pictures consist of very complex layers of acrylic, Japanese ink, asphalt and oil paint combined with printing techniques on Japanese paper, which are laminated on canvas.
The rest is left to the eye of the beholder.
Frank Rödel 2019