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Wir (Alle) Sind Das Volk—We (all) Are The People, 2018

Print

Offset Lithgraph

36.00 x 24.00 in

91.4 x 61.0 cm

Unsigned

PRICE: $1,000
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    About The Work

    This striking poster was created by Hans Haacke for Documenta in 2017-2018. For Documenta 14, Haacke created five large banners of this work, along with thousands of posters like this one which were put up in public spaces throughout Kassel. In an interesting review in Art in Paper, Hans Haacke’s Proofs of Commitment, from Volume 7, Number 3, John Tyson writes of this work:


    "...His current project for Documenta 14, Wir (alle) sind das Volk—We (all) are the people (2017), fills advertising spaces in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany, with posters on which the title phrase is repeated in 12 different languages, from German and English to Kurdish and Berber, bordered by a rainbow roll.32 What could be read initially as a “feel-good” celebration of diversity is actually more complex and layered.33 The slogan is an amended version of the rallying cry “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the people) used in the 1989–90 protests that help bring down the East German state, but that same slogan has been adopted more recently by the right-wing, anti-immigrant PEGIDA movement.

    The word “Volk” itself bears uncomfortable associations with Nazism and a belief in ethnic superiority. Once again, he seems to draw lessons from Brecht’s “Writing the Truth,” which addresses the question of people versus population. Haacke conjures these historical meanings and also proposes new inflections of “Volk.” His posters come at a time when the accommodation of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan has divided voters throughout Europe and North America, with Germany taking far more than any other nation. Haacke repurposes historically charged language to reckon with the reality that the distinction between citizen and refugee is imposed by circumstance and is mutable—an acknowledgment that leads to practical questions of who should be able to freely enter and access rights within the nation-state. Implicit in his selection of languages is an address to people on both sides of this divide, and an attempt to disrupt the monolingualism that often serves nationalism..."

    Courtesy of Alpha 137 Gallery

    From The Magazine

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