Morgenthau, 2004 Installation
Tableau vivant for the exhibition Dialog Loci
The regimental headquarters at the heart of the fortress of Kostrzyn is completely demolished, right down to its foundations. In the middle of the surrounding debris, cellar entrances and remnants of precisely-defines pavement refer to its former existence. During the time of the exhibition a wooden platform of 1,70m height is mounted on top of this area, upon which are staged various and seasonally-typical bucolic scenes. The impression of a pastoral idyll, ranging from chicken-yard to cattle pasture and watering tank to manure heap, will be enhanced by completely understated and fluent transitions, and intensified by the old-fashioned writing of a neon sign expanding over the area like a portal. The first, romantic association connected to the word “Morgenthau” (morning dew) is deceiving and consciously misleading. In September 1944, Henry Morgenthau (then Secretary of the Treasury and adviser to President F.D. Roosevelt) presented a memorandum which stated that a defeated Germany should be partitioned, demilitarized, and after the dismantling of all its industries will be reduced to the status of a rural country so as to make certain that it would never again present any danger. Urban Art describes their work as a ‘landscape’ depicting the imponderability of political maneuvers and their occasionally frightening consequences.
Frank Barth, Kunsthalle Hamburg