Carsten Saeger

Exercises for a Monument



Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig

As part of Connect Leipzig, a Monument was rehearsed in October 2018 in the Zündkerzenhof of the MdbK Leipzig. The installed raw clay sculpture, formally based on the first monuments to the Battle of the Nations, became part of a performative installation that changed over the course of the exhibition and was integrated into the body of the museum beyond the Zündkerzenhof. The exhibition opened with a group performance. Afterwards, the visitors could leave their traces in the clay. For the first time, the Zündkerzenhof opened for 24 hours and thus became a part of the public space. In this way, the site of the museum developed into an experimental space and forum for the examination of monument and remembrance culture. The unfinished Monument became the vehicle for a process of negotiating the rewritability of memories. Two video installations in the foyer of the museum and in the Klingersaal showed sequences of different exercises with re-enactors and performers at the sites of three monuments of the Battle of the Nations. Through the repetition and overlapping of gestures, the body is placed at the centre of a space of (re)action between institutionalised history and its individual appropriation. The filmic exterior space entered the museum and was thus juxtaposed with the collection. At the end of the exhibition, the Monument was given away publicly. Credits: 1 Video still, 1-channel video projection, 10 min. loop, HD, 2018, Camera/Production: Frank Holbein, Carsten Saeger Participants: Clemens Fellmann, Taemen Jung, Johanna Schmidt, Michél Kothe, Anja Kothe, Lara Luise Kothe, Leonard Korbus, Marc Rosenthal & Benjamin Sasse (Video still: Frank Holbein) 2 Installation view, Zündkerzenhof raw clay (1,19m x 1,19m x 1,40m), wood, water tank, water, sink, sheet, spray bottle, Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig, 2018 (Photo: Carsten Saeger) 3 Video still, Opening performance, Zündkerzenhof, Camera: Frank Holbein, Participants: Clemens Fellmann, Anna Neuwirt, Johanna Schmidt, Julia Kunde (Video still: Frank Holbein) 4 Installation view, foyer, 2-channel video installation, 10 min. loop, HD Audio installation, 54 min. loop, Camera/Production: Frank Holbein, Carsten Saeger (Photo: Carsten Saeger) 5 Installation view, Klingersaal, 1-channel video projection, 10 min. loop, HD (Photo: Carsten Saeger)