The photo series ?Die Toten? by the artist Hans-Peter Feldmann from Düsseldorf shows 91 coarse-grained images cut out of newspapers and magazines. All of the pictures show corpses of people tied to RAF terrorism: perpetrators, victims, and those who simply landed accidentally in the line of fire. The video image of Hanns Martin Schleyer, the kidnapped president of the German employers? association, hangs next to a picture of Holger Meins?s dead body, visibly marked by starvation; a family photo of a housewife accidentally hit by a bullet juxtaposes the image of terrorist Andreas Baader lying in a pool of his own blood. All are in the same format and arranged chronologically according to the date of death. Hans-Peter Feldmann, who never sympathized with the ideology of the Baader-Meinhof group, has been accused of not differentiating between perpetrators and victims, of allowing for a lack of empathy and human devotion. “Die Spiegel”, for example, wrote: ?is it enough to cut the pictures of the dead from the newspaper, to stick them in a frame and hang them on the wall??
Yet the cold, encyclopedic gaze that the artist casts on the media reflections of the gory events reveals more about the essence of power and revolt and about the feeling of vanity in the face of an existential abyss. ?Die Toten? become tangible as a nightmarish series of unframed devotional images that do not intend to process contemporary history, but instead, aim at the human condition itself.
Curators: Gerald Matt, Ilse Lafer (assistance)
Guided tours: every Saturday and Sunday 3 pm