"Atem · Raum" (Breath · Space), Hospitalhof Stuttgart 1995

 

Siehe Text unten auf Seite.

See English text at buttom of page.

Altarsituation (Rote Atemscheibe, 96 x 96 x 27cm in Ruhezustand, Leuchtkasten 26 x 32 x 11cm)

Altar situation, red breathing disc, 3' 1¾“ x 3' 1¾“ x 10⅔“ defladed, lightbox 10¼“ x 1' ⅔“ x 4⅓“

Ecclesia und Synagoga

"Lebendes Kreuz" mit Esslesia (links) und Synagoga (rechts), Initiale "R" aus dem Graduale (= liturgischer Zwischengesang) des Münchner Klarissinenklosters Auf dem Anger, originale Initialgröße 14,3 x 14,3cm, 15.Jh., Original in Bayrischer Staatsbibiliothek München


Ecclesia and Synagoga

"Living cross" with Ecclesia (left) and Synagoga (right), initial "R" from the medieval liturgical song of the Franciscan Monestary "Auf dem Anger" in Munich, original size of the initial 5 ⅔“ x 5 ⅔“, 15th cent., Bayrischer Staatsbibiliothek Munich

Erster von 10 Leuchtkästen im Erdgeschoß des Turms, je 40 x 50 x 11cm

alle Lutherzitate aus: "Von den Juden und ihren Lügen", 1543, D. Martin Luthers Werks, Kritische Gesamtausgabe (Weimarer Ausgabe), Band 53, 1920, Nachdruck von 1968, S. 522 - 526

 

First of ten lightboxes at the ground floor of the tower, each 1' 3¾“ x 1' 7⅔“ x 4⅓“

all quotes from: Martin Luther, "On the Jews and Their Lies", 1543

Abgedunkelter Turmaufgang, jeder Leuchtkasten mit je der acht Forderungen Luthers zum Umgang mit den Juden

Darkend staircase to the tower, each light box with one of Luther's eight demands to the authorities (see text at bottom)

Abgedunkelter Turmaufgang, jeder Leuchtkasten mit je einer Forderung Luthers zum Umgang mit den Juden

Darkend staircase to the tower, each light box with one of Luther's demands to the authorities (see text at bottom)

Abgedunkelter Turmaufgang, jeder Leuchtkasten mit je einer Forderung Luthers zum Umgang mit den Juden

Darkend staircase to the tower, each light box with one of Luther's demands to the authorities (see text at bottom)

Vorletzter Leuchtkasten mit letzter Forderung Luthers.

Penultimate light box with last demand by Luther

"Letzter Raum" oben im Turm mit letztem Leuchtkasten und zwei Atemobjekten, je 14,5 x 71 x 82cm 

"Last Space" up in the church tower with last lightbox and two breathing objects, each  5 ⅔“ x 2' 4“ x 2' 8¼“

 

ATEM · RAUM, Hospitalhof Stuttgart 1995 (mit Bettina Bürkle)

 

...Klaus Illi und Bettina Bürkle haben in der Ausstellung „Atem · Raum“ im spezifischen Kontext von Ausstellungsort und -zeit in einer Art künstlerischer Ursachenforschung die Wurzeln des Antijudaismus und Antisemitismus im Christentum untersucht.

In der Hospitalkirche installierte interaktive Atemobjekte von Klaus Illi simulierten mit ihren Geräuschen von Einatmen und Ausatmen die einer Intensivstation vergleichbare Atmosphäre definitiver Entscheidungen über Leben und Tod. Zwischen Altar und spätgotischer Kreuzigungsgruppe war eine stark rote Atemscheibe installiert, deren Membran sich beim Beatmen wie der Brust- und Bauchraum eines Menschen konvex nach vorn wölbte. In beigefarbenen trommelartigen Objekten wurde die Luft abgesaugt und die Membran wölbte sich konkav nach innen. Kompressoren-, Ventil- und Atemgeräusche verbanden sich zu einem eigentümlichen und sonst nie gehörten Kirchenkonzert. Eine als Leuchtbild in einem Lichtkasten auf dem leergeräumten Altar präsentierte Initiale R aus einem Münchner Graduale vom Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts zeigte Ecclesia und Synagoga im Kampf. Das sogenannte lebende Kreuz auf dieser Initiale greift entscheidend zu Gunsten der Ecclesia ein und durchbohrt die rotgewandete Synagoge mit dem Schwert. Es krönt die blaugewandete Ecclesia mit Krone und Heiligenschein und öffnet ihr die Pforten des Himmels. Der Synagoge bleiben der Bockskopf und die zerbrochene Fahne, sowie Eva, der Apfel und die Schlange.

Dieses Dokument antijudaistischen Denkens im Christentum des ausgehenden 15. Jahrhunderts schlägt die Brücke zu Martin Luthers im Jahr 1543 voll ausgeprägten Antijudaismus. In der durch Abdeckungen von Bettina Bürkle verdunkelten Turmgalerie der Hospitalkirche mutet Klaus Illi den Besuchern die sieben unsäglichen Ratschläge des

Reformators an die Fürsten zum Umgang mit den Juden zu (siehe Lutherzitate). Die Lektüre der in überhellen Leuchtkästen in kleiner Schrift präsentierten Texte ist mühsam und schmerzhaft. Die zusammenfassende achte Forderung empfiehlt die Vertreibung der Juden.

Auf Luthers „Drumb jmer weg mit jnen“ folgt die Shoah. Der letzte Leuchtkasten zeigt den Lagereingang von Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Bettina Bürkle greift das Thema „Opfer“ in raumbezogenen Objekten in Form von vier verschlossenen roten Opferbüchsen dort auf, wo sich im 3. Reich das Stuttgarter Polizeigefängnis befand. Schließlich sind zwölf weitere rote Opferobjekte in einer schier endlos scheinenden Reihe im langen Gang des Verwaltungstrakts im Neonlicht von ebensovielen dort fest installierten Beleuchtungskörpern plaziert.

Die Künstler stellen im Ausstellungskontext eine Reihe von Fragen, denn „allein die Fragen zählen“ (Elie Wiesel)...

 

Helmut A. Müller, Hospitalhof Stuttgart 1995

Aus: „Atem · Raum · Geben · Nehmen“, Katalog „Atem · Raum“, Stuttgart 1996

BREATH · SPACE, Hospitalhof Stuttgart 1995 (with Bettina Bürkle)

 

...Klaus Illi and Bettina Bürkle have examined the roots of Anti-Judaism and Anti-Semitism in Christianity in the specific context of exhibition venue and time, in a kind of artistic research into causes in their exhibition "Atem · Raum" ("Breath · Space").

Interactive breath objects by Klaus Illi installed in the Hospital-church made noises of inhalation and exhalation, simulating the atmosphere of definite decisions about life and death, comparable with an intensive care unit. A vivid red breath disc was installed between the alter and the late Gothic Crucifixion group. When respirated its membrane bulged convexly forward like a human being’s chest and stomach. From beige-coloured drum-like objects the air was sucked out and the membrane bulged inwards concavely. The sounds of compressor, valves und breathing combined to produce an unusual church concert, never heard otherwise.

An initial R from a late 15th century Munich Gradual, presented as an illuminated image in a light-box on the cleared altar, showed Church and Synagogue in conflict. The so-called living cross on this initial intervenes decisively in favour of the church and is piercing the red-walled Synagogue with its sword. It tops the blue-walled Church with crown and halo and opens up the gates of heaven to it. The Synagogue is left with the goat’s head and the broken flag and also with Eve, the apple and the serpent.

This documentation of anti-Judaistic thinking in late 15th century Christianity opens up the way to Martin Luther’s full blown anti-Judaism in 1543. The tower gallery of the Hospital-church is blacked out with coverings made by Bettina Bürkle. In it Klaus Illi confronts visitors with the seven unspeakable pieces of advice given by the reformer to the princes on the treatment of Jews (see Luther quotations). Reading the texts presented in the excessively bright light boxes is laborious and painful. The concluding eighth demand recommends the expulsion of the jews. After the "Therefore, in any case, away with them!" Luthers follows the Shoah. The last light-box shows the entrance of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Bettina Bürkle takes up the theme "Opfer" (which means "victim" and "offering" at the same time) in space-related objects in the form of four red closed offering boxes. During the Third Reich Stuttgart’s police prison was located here.

Finally twelve red Offering/Victim-Objects are placed in an almost endless row in the administration hallway, under the light of permanenty installed lighting units.

The artists in the context of the exhibition pose certain questions, because "only questions count" (Elie Wiesel)...

Helmut A. Müller, Hospitalhof Stuttgart 1995

In: "Atem · Raum · Geben · Nehmen" ("Breath · Space · Giving · Taking"), Catalogue "Atem · Raum" ("Breath · Space"), Stuttgart 1996

 

Quotes used in lightboxes by Martin Luther "On the Jews and Their Lies" from 1543

 

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing, and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

 

First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians...

 

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they persue in them the same aims as in their synagogues.

 

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.

 

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office...

 

Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let them stay at home...

 

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than for the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest...

 

Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3 [:19] )...

 

But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., if they had to serve and work for us - for it is reasonable to assume that such noble lords of the world and venomous, bitter worms are not accustomed to working and would be very reluctant to humble themselves so deeply before the accursed Goyim - then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., compute with them how much their usury has extorted from us, divide this amicably, but then eject them forever from the country. For, as we have heard, God's anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

 

From: Martin Luther, "On the Jews and Their Lies" 1543, Luther's Works, American Edition, Volume 47, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971), pp. 268-274