Installations are an opportunity for Muthesius to take his art into another dimension. He does this by deliberately placing modern art in contrast with old; with that which exists, is connected to history, but also with the everyday; with that which is ostensibly at odds with the art.
In this way, he frequently lends the whole something spiritual, something enduring, but also utterly contemporary and startling.
Why? Muthesius strives for and represents a living approach to history. To him, phenomena of the past, whether in social, sociocultural or political terms, are not static. Because they exist, they are to be confronted, given a relevance to present and future developments. With his installations, he forces the viewers to accept nothing as immutable. His installations are provocations, food for thought, indirectly placed into the here and now.
Here are some examples:
TABULA AUREA at the Collection of Antiquities and Glyptothek, Munich
A deliberate juxtapositioning of the GOLDEN FIELDS with ancient Greek and Roman statues in the Glyptothek in Munich.
GOLD in Berlin underground stations
“Heaven Under Berlin” as an “indestructible sacramental” in Berlin underground stations, as the journalist Benjamin Lassiwe wrote in March 2017 in the Fuldaer Zeitung. (LINK to the article)
CROSS in the coal cellar of the Hackesche Höfe in Berlin,
– where there was still a Jewish cemetery in the 17th Century.
The eventful history of this courtyard complex in the East of the city that was later to be divided for decades provides many points of reference for the impressive, overwhelming CROSS painting by Muthesius, which breaks the boundaries of form.
STAR in the window of the Kunsthalle, Luckenwalde
The STAR, a Star of David brutally carved and etched into the natural wood of the support, evokes the suffering and brutality of the persecution of the Jews. It attracts all one’s attention, disturbs the familiar view (through the window), opens up new perspectives.
There are many other installations like these, with still more to come. Just as Muthesius’s painting represents an intellectual process of sensory perception of the motif, so the installation, with its repositioning of the artwork in an unfamiliar setting, is an interruption which invites the viewer to observe the familiar from another perspective, and to think afresh in terms of present and future.
Quotations / Reviews
Quotations / Reviews
On the CROSS installation project IN THE RUINS OF THE FRAUENKIRCHE IN DRESDEN
By the Kunstdienst (art service) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony (ed.)
“In his paintings Winfried Muthesius speaks of the destruction of Dresden (Fig. 1). Though he was not an eyewitness, his works testify to the indescribable: the firestorm, the sea of flames. Devoid of people; flesh and metal, all melted in the blazing furnace. The incineration reaches for anything and everything: the ruins of the Frauenkirche. The destruction is total. It is universal. It is apocalyptic. It burns with the primitive language of annihilation. It strikes at man’s primal fear. There is nothing left, everything is consumed. – Muthesius evokes that horror. Few brush strokes are needed. A cross can be seen in the ruins (Fig. 2). It is floating – not only in space, but also between past and future. As a sign of death and pain, it reminds us and warns us. As a sign of hope, it points to the new beginning. Past and future are fractured in the cross; the cross as prism of time. (…)”
“Time Fractures” (Cracks in time) Installation / Frauenkirche. Photographic work by Winfried Muthesius for a planned installation in the ruins of the Frauenkirche in Dresden, ed: Kunstdienst of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony, Dresden 1994.