The ‘typisch deutsch?’ (‘typical German?’) solo exhibition, at the MAKK in Cologne, aims to reappraise cultural labels, to question stereotypes and open a discourse on German identity in the twenty-first century. By interpreting a selection of ‘typical’ German attributes, including industriousness (Fleiß); cleanliness (Reinlichkeit); melancholy (Schwermut) and conviviality (Geselligkeit), viewers are asked to contemplate German archetypes and clichés from a different perspective, questioning the very essence of what it means to be typisch deutsch.
Works on display include Der Unendliche Geist (The Endless Mind/Spirit): a four-metre high cast-bronze tower of books, built from significant works from the German Arts and Sciences; and Pünktlichkeit (punctuality): a work composed of a custom-made digital clock that measures milliseconds, alluding to Germany’s history of precise timekeeping.
Distanz published the typisch deutsch? exhibition catalogue in 2014. It is available in selected, international bookstores.