until 28.11. | #3144ARTatBerlin | Kunsthaus Dahlem currently shows the exhibition “Einstürzende Reichsbauten” by the author and artist Henrike Naumann.
Beginning in the spring of 1933, the National Socialists were manifesting their newly acquired claim to power on all levels. An important aspect of this was penetrating society, even into private space. This not only meant idealizing conservative gender roles and images of the family as well as introducing “Heil Hitler” as an everyday greeting that glorified the dictator but was also reflected in day-to-day life, for example, in the design of interiors, furniture, and home decor. Henrike Naumann takes the w despread presence of propaganda in daily life as a reason to reflect in the exhibition »Einstürzende Reichsbauten« (Collapsing Reich Buildings) on the fusing of art, ideology, and interior design.
In the former state studio of the Nazi sculptor Arno Breker—today Kunsthaus Dahlem—Henrike Naumann has staged the private-looking interior of a living space. In the center is the design of the reception area of Adolf Hitler’s residence in Obersalzberg. Part of the installation is original furniture from the former Haus der Deutschen Kunst, now Haus der Kunst in Munich, another architectural status symbol from the Nazi era. This setting is supplemented by furnishings from the 1980s that have been collected by the artist.
This juxtaposition reveals the close connection of the history of objects with political history. It also exposes the coexistence of an idealized national identity for one part of society and deportation and murder for the other. “With furniture [alone] we will not get any further,” says Henrike Naumann, “in our attempt to understand the ‘Third Reich’ by way of furniture. Or hate. The crucial thing is: For whom is this furniture intended and for whom not.”
Henrike Naumann, born in 1984 in Zwickau (GDR), lives and works in Berlin. She reflects sociopolitical problems on the level of design and domestic space, and explores antagonistic political beliefs through the ambivalent aesthetics of personal taste. In her immersive installations, she arranges furniture and home decor into scenographic spaces interspersed with video and sound work. Growing up in Eastern Germany, Naumann experienced extreme-right ideology as a predominant youth culture in the 1990s. Therefore, she is interested in the mechanisms of radicalizat on and how they are linked to personal experience. Although rooted in her experiences in Germany, Naumann’s work has addressed the global connectivity of youth cultures and their role in the process of cultural othering.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Henrike Naumann, born 1984 in Zwickau (GDR), lives and works in Berlin. She studied stage and costume design as well as scenography in Dresden and Potsdam. In her work, Naumann reflects socio-political problems on the level of design and interiors. Her artistic material is mostly second-hand furniture, from which she builds her expansive installations in combination with video and sound. Her preoccupation with everyday aesthetics reflects the mechanisms of radicalisation and their connection with personal experience, but also facets of (German) history. In recent years she has shown numerous exhibitions, including at the Belvedere, Vienna, the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, the Museum Abteiberg, Möchengladbach; the MMK, Frankfurt am Main and the Haus der Kunst, Munich.
BOOK ACCOMPANYING THE EXHIBITION
“In Einstürzende Reichsbauten, artist Henrike Naumann, art historian Agela Schönberger and architect and design theorist Andreas Brandolini develop a project that places Naumann’s work Ruinenwert (Ruin Value, 2019) in a discursive relationship to Schönberger’s research on Albert Speer and Brandolini’s postmodern design theory.”
(Distanz Verlag announcement)
Henrike Naumann with Angela Schönberger and Andreas Brandolini
Collapsing Imperial Buildings
Berlin: Distanz 2021 (Series “Context”)
112 pages | numerous colour illustrations
Exhibition dates: Sunday, 8th August – Sunday, 28th November 2021to the museum
Exhibition Henrike Naumann – Einstürzende Reichsbauten | Kunsthaus Dahlem | Exhibitions Berlin museums – Art in Berlin | ART at Berlin