K&R (Krieg und Reaktion [War and reaction] – artistic research)
with Jan Bejšovec
‘Krieg und Reaktion’ is a long-term project made up of graphics, installations, actions and project materials (text and research) created to allow visualisation of the various complexes. I have been working on this theme (mostly together with other colleagues) since about 2005. The gaze is drawn to the battlefield over and over from new contexts and differing perspectives, and its varying contexts are analysed and visualised. The military industrial complex is all-pervasive and extends even into the cultural structures. Here they are interwoven to actively generate and manipulate pictures about and relating to scenes of war. Some of these pictures are picked up by me again.
The Welt-Kriegs-Karte [World War Map]: one hundred years after the start of World War One, the upheavals caused by the Great War go on determining world politics even today, as is evidenced by the recently ignited debate about war debt, the geopolitical conflict concerning the Ukraine, but also the Middle Eastern flashpoint and neo-colonial conflicts in Africa and Asia. The Welt-Kriegs-Karte allows me to show how many armed conflicts there have been in the last hundred years, and where they took place. The numbers relating to all conflicts are also listed in the related research work. These include the length of the conflict, the parties involved, troop numbers, deaths and further background information.
Give us 4 years time
The Great War (1914-18) was not only the primal catastrophe of the 20th century, the political, social and economic distortions it caused are still present today. Just 4 years had been enough to destroy the civilisational standards reached so far. Later Adolf Hitler demanded „4 Jahre Zeit“ again to prepare his campaigns of revenge and conquest. But the collective destructive fury of the European states between 1914 and 1918 has never achieved again.
In the centre of the picture is a German steel-helmet, one of the inventions of the military and industrial dynamics at the time. The steel-helmet connected the new requirements of the battlefield with an archaic image of defence and quickly became a popular motif of propaganda.
Hence the picture is made like a poster with the cynical slogan „Give us 4 years time“. The black, white and red colours in the background form the national flag of the German Empire but are formed of bandage like stripes, which remind the bloodstained, dirty and rarely white bandages from the battlefields.
Life: Pablo Hermann
Pablo Hermann, artist and activist, who was born in Guayaquil in Ecuador and grew up mainly in Germany, investigates the field of cultural and political overlaps. He works in the fields of painting, printing, photography, performance and action, and in the field of art theory. He concentrates on new political and cultural movements in relation to migration, integration and racism, basic human rights and socio-political participation. Has lived and worked in Berlin since 2004. He is a founding member of the project space OKK/Organ kritischer Kunst, member of Kolonie Wedding.