In this new exhibition by the German artist Volker Maerz we are exposed again to the tales of Franz Kafka – as told by Maerz. At the year 2009 Maerz exhibited two solo shows in Israel; Kafka in Israel which was exhibited at Herzliya Museum of contemporary art and Kafka in Heaven – a site specific installation, created especially for the Chelouche Gallery. These two shows depicted the story of the imaginary and absurd journey of Kafka and his pet monkey Mr. Rutpeter to Israel. They took us up to the point of tragic end, when Kafka is accused for being a Nazi and sentenced to death penalty by the government.
Maerz’s new installation at Chelouche Gallery contains clay figurines, photographs and video. It takes us to the year 2011 in which there is a new government in charge. Kafka is cleared of past accusations and is persuaded by the new governors and God to come back to Israel. Kafka agrees but it so happens that he takes a wrong turn and finds himself on the back of a donkey wondering the West Bank – close to Ramalla.
Two new figures enter the plot in this current exhibition. The first is the German dancer and choreographer Pina Bauch. Kafka sees her dancing on the city’s walls and falls immediately in love with her but she flees from her disturbed lover away to South Africa. The second figure is the German theoretician and artist Jozef Beuys who used his own biography as the main part of his art. In his case (as apposed to Kafka) Maerz decides to use Beuys’ real biography, may it be true or fabricated by Beuys himself.
Past and present, truth and false personal and public histories, all come together in Maerz’s new show. Four artists – Kafka, Bausch, Beuys and Maerz himself blend with each other and resonate past themes, this time in an updated version.
Maerz (b. 1957), lives and works in Berlin, exhibits solo shows across Europe since 1995, published more than 10 Artist’s books, and participated in numerous group shows, among it at Kunstverein Mannheim, Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and Haus am Waldsee, Berlin.
Maerz is a multi disciplinary artist working in sculpture, painting, photography, writing, film, performance and music. He has dedicated many of his projects to European writers and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Giordano Bruno, Martin Heidegger, Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist, Marquis de Sade, Walter Benjamin, Georges Bataille, Peter Sloterdijk, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann and Hannah Arendt.