Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen, Germany
Apocalyptic conceptions of the end of the world have fascinated mankind for centuries. This exhibition brings together two pictorially powerful visions of the end of time: Julian Rosefeldt’s work 'In the Land of Drought' and Albrecht Dürer’s illustrations for the Book of Revelation. In his video installation, Julian Rosefeldt (born 1965) depicts a post-apocalyptic imaginary future in which man is inescapably confronted with the consequences of the overexploitation of the Earth’s resources. More than five-hundred years before Rosefeldt created his work, Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) illustrated the Bible’s foretelling of the end of the world with fifteen woodcuts. First published in 1498, the fanciful yet fear-inducing series responded to the mood of gloom and doom that prevailed as the turn of the century approached. Roughly contemporaneous with Dürer’s series is a Dutch printed edition of the eschatological proclamations of the theologian Jean Gerson (1363–1429). Provided with fifteen sequences of naive, vivid illustrations, this little book is a practical demonstration of the way in which people were to envision the portents of the end of the world and the Last Judgment.
As different as the works by Rosefeldt, Dürer, and Gerson may seem, they do have one thing in common: the vision of an end of the world that can be understood not as the final end but rather as the beginning of something new, of a world after the world. The exhibition invites visitors to enter this field of tension between creation, destruction, and new beginning and to envision the imaginable worlds of different futures.
A publication in German, English, and Dutch will accompany the exhibition.
photo: JULIAN ROSEFELDT, In the Land of Drought, 2015/17, 1-channel film, colour, sound, HD,
Transferred onto a hard disc player, Aspect ratio: 2,35:1, Loop, 43 min 15 sec