In a time of growing right-wing extremism, A Mirrored Image, Redpilled and 77 Circles deal with ignorance, the accessibility of perpetrator narratives, as well as generational and cultural gaps.
77 Circles shows Bundeswehr (German Army) reservists defor- esting the grounds of a commander’s house in a former con- centration camp. While this act, which was carried out at the artist’s request, might invoke heated debate amongst histori- ans and an older generation of viewers, most of today’s youth would be indifferent to it. Are perpetrators to play a role in our historical narratives, or should we continue to focus almost exclusively on the victims?
On the other hand, the older generation often dismisses online discourse as harmless due to their inability to interpret meme culture’s language and humor. However, Redpilled exposes the real threat of online radicalization and how extremist narra- tives are overshadowing traditional memory culture, impacting distribution channels.
‘My imagination was trained by Hollywood’, says spoken word artist Onias Landveld in A Mirrored Image. Landveld grew up in Suriname, a former Dutch colony in Latin America. In his video collaboration with Ganslmeier, he ruminates about his mental image of the Holocaust, which is largely influenced by its rep- resentation in popular culture. Their collaboration lays bare the cultural distance between Holocaust discourse and that of co- lonialism, as well as our failure to bring the two into dialogue.
In cooperation with Ana Zibelnik, Onias Landveld, Paradox and Bergen-Belsen Memorial
3D animation and found footage video
Written and directed by Jakob Ganslmeier & Ana Zibelnik
Sound by Daniel Hermann-Collini
Animation by Oddkin
A Mirrored Image
Which different interpretations of the Holocaust exist in today’s European population? Who and what shapes the image and the legacy of a former concentration camp? Spoken word artist Onias Landveld and filmmaker Jakob Ganslmeier address some of these issues in their collaborative video A Mirrored Image.
Redpilled is a story about the spread of alt-right ideology and its close correlation with the global rise of meme culture. Told from the perspective of Wojak (lit. soldier)— a hugely popular meme character known for its versatile ability to lend itself to a number of human stereotypes – the work delves into the dangerous humour and fascination with violence perpetuated by memes. Throughout the work, references are made to recent terror attacks, such as the Christchurch shooting, drawing a direct connection between the seemingly harmless online environment of nihilism and its violent ‘real-life’ consequences.
Deforesting the area where a commander’s house stood is a violent act. After the British Army burned down the concentration camp buildings in 1945 to prevent the spread of diseases, nature started to reclaim the camp. With the exception of the commander’s house, the Bergen-Belsen grounds were made visible again between 2007 and 2011 as immense, open fields in a forest, often surrounded by NATO cannon roar. Nearly eight decades after the war, the bare ground on which the commander’s house once stood is in the process of being made accessible to the public too. At the request of the artist Jakob Ganslmeier, Bundeswehr reservists felled the trees in one of the first camp sections formerly associated with the perpetrators. The clearing resembles a giant wound. Can the discourse that this act provokes ever turn it into a healing scar?