Carsten Saeger
"Probably there is no way around Max Klinger and his Beethoven in Leipzig. At least not when you are dealing with sculpture, space or monuments. And this is what Carsten Saeger does with high intensity and intelligence, but above all with a feeling and curiosity for the shifts in context and meaning of our memory culture. In Exercises for a Monument, not only the unfinished Klinger or the Battle of the Nations Monument resonates, but also Géricault's Raft of the Medusa. If the past suddenly becomes frighteningly tangible and current, the pathos of the younger and older monument aesthetics is on the one hand not shied away from and on the other hand broken down into its hollow phrases. In the re-enactment of the traditional pathos formulas, the distance to history is lost. The foreign, the historically detached and the located becomes part of one's own tradition and origins, which one has to work for physically. Or which one can work on, reaching into the damp clay. This offer of manually shaping our remembrance - and thus the actuality of our history – can be taken up by Saeger's performers as well as by the visitors of the exhibition. His "physical exercises for a monument" are convincing not least because of their intermediality, when they change aesthetically light-footedly from sculpture to performance, to film and back again into space." Dr. Martin Engler, Member of the Jury, Federal Prize for Art Students – "Physically, Saeger is present in most of his works: as director, as cameraman, but also as performer, interviewer, as host – as head of the rehearsal. His aim is not so much to convey historical facts or to explicitly criticize established forms of memory. Instead, he uses found narratives, objects and settings to question the relationship between the identity of spaces and the rituals of their use. To this end, he creates documentary frames, samples different time levels within temporary installations and performances. […] The processually designed forms emerge from Carsten Saeger's conceptual thinking of a possible situation and can be understood by the viewers in his exhibition settings. He is both dramaturge and producer, planning place, time and procedure, extending invitations. The border between the artist creating the work and the curatorially acting ego becomes blurred, whereby the curatorial situation, like the rehearsal, moves between unconditional acceptance of the other and legitimation through rules and regulations." Sarah Alberti, Art historien & Freelance journalist