Carsten Saeger




Federal Price for Art Students Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn

As part of the exhibition for the Federal Prize for Art Students at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, a rehearsal room was installed alongside the work Revisits. In a 4-channel audio installation, the Belgian composer Matthias Yzebaert reacted to the Requiem by Paul Dessau. Public workshops were held there as part of the exhibition, in which the physical mediation of traumatic experiences was addressed. Together with a TRE* trainer (*Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises), the previous materials and recordings were processed in special physical exercises. This created a performative archive in which the various historical layers were examined on an experiential level together with the changing participants and their biographies.
The rubber mats that had been inscribed were reassembled by the participants at each rehearsal, which changed the composition of the typeface. The text was based on a banner from a demonstration in the 1990s that spoke out against the closing of the Buna Werke. BuNa (Butadien-Natrium) stands for a synthetic rubber that was invented in 1926 in Germany due to a lack of natural rubber from (African) colonies and was later crucial for war production. After its destruction in World War II, the chemical plant in southern Saxony-Anhalt developed into one of the largest industrial areas in the GDR. Privatization and the subsequent job cuts after the reunification were considered a traumatic experience for many employees.
Credits: 1 installation view, Rehearsal for Lumumba: Revisits, 1-channel video installation, 17 min. loop, UHD, b/w, without audio, display, 3-channel audio installation, various recordings, loop, 3 stereo headphones, media player, chairs, transcriptions, 2019 (Photo: Carsten Saeger)
2 Installation view, Rehearsal for Lumumba: Resonance, 2x2-channel audio installation, 40 & 50 min. loop, 4 active loudspeakers (composition: Matthias Mayz Yzebaert, cello: Zhaina Kydyrova) rubber mats, partly labeled with transparent rubber paint (arrangement variable), colour filter: Lee 181, 2019 (Photo: Carsten Saeger)
3 Installation View, Workshop Introduction (Photo: Laurin Schmid)
4 Installation View, TRE Workshop with Michelle Campbell (Photo: Laurin Schmid)