Posted On 7. February 2018 By In History, Interviews With 412 Views

Stones of Remembrance | Why remember?

The artist Hannahlisa Kunyik developed a 15 minute performance for the opening of Stones of Remembrance and explained to “im7ten” how the cooperation started.

How did the initiator, Thomas Kreuz approach you?

In summer I had bought a pepper mill as a birthday gift at  Wauwau where Thomas and I had gotten into talking about what I do. I told him about my book that was published

Hannahlisa Kunyik | © Carolina Frank

in Spring by “Schlafzimmerproduction” in which I addressed differenct terminology of politics and art history as well as the roll of historical minimalism in modern art, based on a debate about an exhibition. In our conversation about the importance of the knowledge of history, Thomas and I shared a gross discomfort regarding the political and social development in the last years. in the end, he asked me if I would do something for the opening of Stones of Remembrance.

How did you deal with the topics of deportation, war and historical reappraisal?

An intense debate about our history is particularly important as a (re)normalisation of right-wing direction is taking place with nationalist and racsist positions creeping into everyday language and even dehumanisation of certain population groups. This is not only a threat in the future but can already be observed today. Current discussion around Documenta show the thin line between good and well-meant analysis of the present with reference to the past.

What thoughts did you encounter in your preparation?

For one, the question of an appropriate and historically correct analysis of the present but most of all the question of how to position oneself against authoritarian tendencies in society. At times I thought it was better to hire the hip-hop duo KLITCLIQUE or The Jewish Renaissance Boxing Club for a performance. I then decided to take on the dispute with historical and memorial questions in a reenactment of an existing speech as a “little gesture” in which the aesthetic quality acts as a contrast to brutal images and gestures as they are produced by neofaschist groups.

The performance took place 1 October at 18:15 in Westbahnstrasse 56-58 which is known to be the last residence of Linda Felix, Antonie Leist, Leo Wiener und Nikolaus Benedikt. All four were deported and murdered between 1939 and 1941.

Find more information about the artist Hannahlisa Kunyik at kunyik.com

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