The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago presents German artist Clemens von Wedemeyer's moving-image work as part of the ongoing MCA Screen series. The exhibition features Muster (Rushes) (2012), an HD video installation which explores the merits and limits of historical reconstruction and the complex, misleading, and violent incarnations of German history and culture. After being hailed as one of the most affecting pieces at the prestigious contemporary art fair dOCUMENTA 13, the MCA jointly acquired-with the Dallas Museum of Art-the work for its collection, adding to a growing holding of media-based works. Curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling, the exhibition is on view February 21 to July 26, 2015.
Inherently political, the three films that constitute Muster (Rushes) (2012) visually link to one another, with each roughly half-hour narrative taking place at a former Benedictine monastery outside of Kassel, Germany. This monastery functioned as a concentration camp during the Nazi era, a reformatory for girls in the 1970s, and later a psychiatric clinic. Von Wedemeyer often uses unique installation settings with specified conditions that allow him to manipulate the viewer's physical reaction to his films. In this installation, the screens are arranged so that one of the three narratives is always hidden or inaccessible. The actors recur in each of the different scenes as well, playing different roles each time, and further contributing to the sense of history unwittingly repeating itself.
Clemens von Wedemeyer (born 1974) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He studied photography and media at the Fachhochschule Bielefeld before attending the HGB Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig from where he graduated in 2002, and received a master's degree in 2005. An internationally exhibited artist, von Wedemeyer's work has appeared in both solo and group exhibitions.