The Monumental is my Malady.*
*) Arno Breker in an interview with André Müller, 1979
display case with publications on Arno Breker from the Third Reich,
photographs of the chiselled off friezes on the facade of the state studio, Kunstpalais Erlangen, 2010
In 1942 Arno Breker, the most successful Nazi-sculptor, was commissioned to decorate the designated world capital Germania with monumental sculptures. For this purpose a representative state studio, designed after the blueprints of Albert Speer's studio for Josef Thorak in Baldham, was erected in Berlin Grunewald.
After the war a continuity was maintained when Breker's master student and protégé Bernhard Heiliger moved into the east wing of the building. His widow established a foundation under his name which stayed on after his death in 1995.
The central space was converted into 8 smaller studios in the 1970s and awarded to a great number of local and international artists until the foundation of Breker's master student claimed the space. On their request the city of Berlin terminated the studio program in 2010 and funded the reconstruction of the original Nazi-studio for exhibition purposes under the management of the Heiliger Foundation.
The Monumental is my Malady.* is a protest against this process of rewriting history. It calls to mind the contested history of the building and discusses the role of art and artists during the Nazi era.
photo: Erich Malter