Schluss mit Öko. Erik Steinbrecher

Posted in art, exhibition catalogue, Motto Berlin store, Motto Zürich store, photography on July 10th, 2010 by admin
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Erik Steinbrecher left Berlin for Switzerland, his suitcase packed with 1000 supermarket bought meatballs and a pair of baguettes cast in aluminum, for his exhibition ‘Schluss mit Öko’ (An End to Eco), 27th October to 22nd December 2007. The setting: a barn and a meadow in the mountain region Amden am Walensee. A hundred years earlier, ‘Lebensreformer’ from Berlin had undertaken the same journey. Their destination in Amden was the Grappenhof Colony founded by businessman and prophet Josua Klein (1867-1945), who was raised in Meran, and had made his fortune in the United States. The founders of the vegetarian settlement Monte Verità at Lake Maggiore observed the activities at Walensee with keen interest. The belief that it lies within an individual’s power to withdraw from the consequences of historical processes through their negation, or at least suppression, formed the core of the settlers’ self-reflection, and was widespread throughout the Grappenhof. This, together with the firm belief that the germ for a new and better world lies in every micro-society, is described by American cultural critic Greil Marcus as the myth of freedom in his book Lipstick Traces. Elements of this narrative turn up in the Chiliasmus of the middle ages as much as in modern totalitarianism’s internalized beliefs for a world solution, or the avant-garde movements’ striving towards the absolute. This belief was also in effect later in the artistic circle of the Bern painter Otto Meyer Amden (1885-1933), who came to the village in 1912 together with artist friends such as Oskar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister, and stayed in Amden until 1928.

Erik Steinbrecher
Schluss mit Öko
ed. Roman Kurzmeyer, Basel
argobooks, 2010
ISBN: 978-3-941560-69-7
D 18€