H O M E L A N D

PLACES OF LONGING AND RETREATS.

In this series of large-format works, I deal with the concept of home. Home is a place in us. Childhood, memory, yearning and transfiguration. Where our soul finds peace, a retreat. Trust, faith, our port, emotional ground. At the same time, it is a historical term that connects people to nations for which wars have been waged and made people murderers.

I also deal with the history of my own family. Only three or four generations ago men from my family bleed to death in the trenches for the German Emperor outside Verdun (France). And a few decades later, my two grandfathers were in the Second World War as soldiers of the Wehrmacht deployed on the Eastern Front and then for many years in Russian captivity. When the Red Army advanced, the families of my mother and father had to give up their ancestral homes in East Prussia and the Sudetenland and flee to West Germany, shortly before the end of the war, under great dangers and deprivations. I did not forget that. There are very German biographies in my family, and I carry their genes in me. That is why the concept of home is important to me.

And of course, how could it be otherwise, the question of Germany (yesterday & today) as a historical and geographical home for millions of people. This consideration does not end in the twentieth century and in the Third Reich, but goes back much further, from the late Middle Ages to the Varus Battle over two thousand years ago. It annoys and shames when, in the discussion about homeland, this historical context is negated and – for the most part due to an ignorance of the historical – only seen today. Certainly, German history requires a critical debate, but the degradation of past epochs and of the achievements of these people is still inadmissible.

It should be noted that home is very filigree, intimate and personal. On the other hand, it also stands for brute force, aggression, for trenches and cannon thunder. Obvious contradiction, but more than that, the reverse sides of a medal. This is the frame in which my work series HOME is to be located. My conviction: Only when we seriously and in detail deal with our history, we also recognize our roots and patterns that repeat themselves. Tabooing is the wrong way, because it darkens where light thoughts are needed. This has nothing to do with later heroic enlightenment, romance or even admiration for the wrong goals. Modern man needs a home more than ever (again).

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This meaning of the historical aspect, this understanding of history as origin is also fittingly found in a quote by James Gordon Farrell in his novel Siege of Krishnapur (1973):
“We look on past ages with condescension, as a mere preparation for us….
but what if we are a mere after-glow of them?”

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H O M E

HOMELAND – HEIMATLAND
MOTHERLAND – MUTTERLAND
FATHERLAND – VATERLAND
BROTHERLAND – BRUDERLAND –
SISTERLAND – SCHWESTERLAND
ENEMY LAND – FEINDESLAND
NO MAN’S LAND – NIEMANDSLAND
BLOODLAND – BLUTLAND

H O M E

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