Thingstätten, Maria Vedder.
Exhibition:19.11 - 09.12.2022
Location: Markgrafenstraße 86, 10969 Berlin
View Video documentary of the exhibition (Six Videos)
The artistic documentation of National Socialist THINGSTÄTTEN in Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt was made possible by the NEUSTART Kultur funding program.
Throughout Europe, votes for radical right-wing positions are on the rise. After the immense catastrophe brought upon the world by the National Socialists in World War II, this fascination is hard to comprehend. It is particularly frighteningly topical in Russia. To understand more, Maria Vedder has used the example of the National Socialist THINGSTÄTTEN to examine one aspect of the propaganda of the time, the places of seduction. In the 1930s, the National Socialists built open-air theaters throughout Germany. 400 were planned, completed were about 60. These so-called Thingstätten were used for propaganda events and marches. At these open-air performances, emotions were to be released, people were to feel their belonging to the Volksgemeinschaft. The rallies were intended to consolidate the Führer cult, to get people in the mood for a war that would be worth going to for the fatherland. In her installation, Maria Vedder traces the hitherto little-known history of the Thing sites.
For the exhibition, Maria Vedder filmed 12 Thingstätten in North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg. Her goal is to document all of the approximately 40 Thingstätten in Germany. Of the majority of the Thing sites of that time, it is known where they are located. Some are famous, such as the Berlin Waldbühne, built on Hitler's orders for the 1936 Olympics on the Olympic grounds. Or the Kalkberg Stadium in Bad Segeberg, where the Karl May Games have been held annually since 1952. Many former Thing sites are still used for concerts and theater performances. Others are overgrown, destroyed or have disappeared.
With her cinematic search for traces, Maria Vedder also addresses deeper layers of the past. The images draw attention to the ancient Germanic Thing tradition, which the National Socialists appropriated and distorted to suit their own purposes. A Thing site was originally a place where political deliberations took place and justice was dispensed. Thing or Ding was the name given to popular meetings and court hearings held in the open air.
Important: The exhibition includes two other events that will not take place in our gallery. These are:
Artist Talk: 15.11.22, 19:00, at the studio of Maria Vedder, with Julia Rosenbaum/StudioVisits
Screening: 14.12.22, 19:30, Raum für drastische Maßnahmen, Oderstr. 3, 10247 Berlin-Friedrichshain
This exhibition is supported by: