While the atmosphere boils somewhere in the middle of Germany and teenage revelers rave to the anthem “You’re making me sweat on the dance floor,” teleporting their way via hallucinations to the legendary Ibizan club Amnesia, a future trio of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) drags their baseball bats along the railings of a house set for demolition in Jena Winzerla. Late pubescent identities occupy German-state youth rooms, decorated in 1992 with ingrain wallpaper, tiled coffee tables, geometric mirrors, and metallic neon decor on movable ply walls – the ‘empty’ middle-brow furnishings becoming agents of the turmoil of transformation after the fall of the wall in the 1990s.
The artistic re-enactment stages the members of the NSU in their youth, six years before the founding of their terrorist organisation, in the VHS aesthetic typical at the time: Beate Zschäpe was then 17, Uwe Mundlos 19 and Uwe Böhnhardt 15 years old. The three friends enjoy their mediated interactions with the camera: they dose, yak, pose, flirt, and scuffle und scramble with each other. And they yell “Heil Hitler,” spraying swastikas and disparaging people with disabilities. On the second screen, in a tower block estate, three teenagers of the same age read Bravo magazine, snort cocaine, scuffle and scramble with each other, fall in love, and get into techno of the Balearic Islands. The name of their favorite club and the temporal climax of its popularity sound ironic through this ecstatic affirmation and celebration of the collective amnesia and neoliberal ideology of the 1990s. The exhibition context integrates Henrike Naumann’s video works sculpturally: they become ‘home videos’ in period-authentic TV sets inside generic interiors with ubiquitous materials that reflect the German unification. Attitudes toward life are impregnated into the surfaces of the postmodern furniture, logging the painful indifference and deferral (“postness”) into the bodies of those present.
Text by Ulrike Gerhardt
Janina Stopper, Michel Diercks, Maximilian Klas
Eva Vuillemin, Florian Lenz, Jan Dose
Henning Ohlendorf, Stefan Heitzmann, Moritz Löwe, Anja Langer
Henrike Naumann studied stage design at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and at the University for Film and Television at Potsdam-Babelsberg. Her installations, videos, and sculptures unfold a materialist perspective on the developments of the 1990s, which have long been invisible in public discourse. In 2015 she became a member of Encore, an artist collective. She has exhibited her work at Busan Biennial, Museum Abteiberg, Kunsthalle Bratislava, Tokyo Art Space, 1st Riga Biennial, Galerie Wedding, among others.