The work LAYER combines an intellectual-theoretical and three visual levels. We see close-ups from the forest, images taken in a assembly hall of an automobile manufacturer and television footage showing the kneeling of former German Chancellor Willy Brandt in front of the monument to the Warsaw Ghetto.

The work is part of a reflection on the visualization of thoughts or thought processes. It is made for a large upright screen, hanging from the ceiling.

Starting point for the visual processing of the three levels is the examination of the text "Besuch in Deutschland" (Visit to Germany), written by the philosopher Hannah Arendt. It was written during her first visit to Germany after Second World War and first published by the American Jewish Comittee in 1950. The work also represents a step on my path of artistic engagement with Montage. Combining images and subjects, focusing and/or widening gazes, sliding layers on top of each other – these are things along which my thinking about Montage moves.


Layer zero is the first layer; it is hidden beneath the others, not visually present, but still there. It represents the mental framework, the textual anchor; the starting point of a reflection. 

The text "Besuch in Deutschland" impressed me deeply. Hannah Arendt describes her observations and experiences during her first visit to Germany in 1949 after her flight from the Nazi regime. 

A short glimpse to the text: 

"In less than six years Germany destroyed the moral fabric of the Western world. (...) The sight of the destroyed cities in Germany and the fact that people know about the German concentration and extermination camps have caused a shadow of deep sorrow to lie over Europe. (...) But nowhere is this nightmare of destruction and horror less felt and nowhere is it less talked about than in Germany. (...) In the midst of the ruins, Germans write each other postcards of churches and marketplaces, public buildings and bridges that no longer exist."

note: This excerpt was taken from an German-language edition from 1993 published in „Rotbuch Verlag“ and translated back into English.                                     


My mother grew up as the granddaughter of a forest supervisor in a lonely house in the middle of the forest. For me her childhood memories have always been associated with a mixture of fascination and creepiness; with a sense of loneliness and beauty. This duality still accompanies me today when I walk through forests and leads to a desire to explore them with the camera.


Layer two shows images from the assembly hall of a large German car manufacturer. A six-cylinder diesel engine is being manufactured and assembled. The production is almost completely automated and is carried out by extremely precise robots. 

Standardization, Precision, Automation - These are the terms that led me through the working process of this layer. 


On December 7, 1970, then German Chancellor Willy Brandt falls to his knees in front of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial. The memorial is a place of remembrance for the Jews murdered by the German Nazi regime. The kneeling occurred during an official wreath-laying ceremony, at which many journalists were present. Therefore, this scene has been documented many times on film and the footage has become a historical document. I have watched the television images countless times, they have stayed in my mind and they have touched me deeply. 

While working with this footage a word kept echoing in my mind, a word that I have never thought of together with German politics before: humbleness. The word humbleness, to think together with Germany, and the ability to act humbly represents for me a force of identification and forms a new starting point; something to keep on thinking about...