Ordnung! is a reportage about objects and order. Both the objects and the ill repute of their origins undergo a cleansing process: scrubbing, rinsing, de-rusting, polishing and reassembling into order. Ordnung!‘s polished aesthetic juxtaposes beauty with horror, clean lines with shards.
The composites of this series have been recovered from northern Brandenburg. I first discovered the bright, white tableware sticking out sharply from the dark earth. It was only later that I found the rest of the German army’s apparent dump site.
These forests, situated in a triangle between Lobetal, Lanke and Biesental, are riddled with remains of military regimes. It is an alluring place with idyllic scenery. The forest is lush and provides good coverage from an unsuspecting eye: first to the Oberkommando der Marine, then to the 20th Soviet Guards, and now to a few persistent hobby treasure hunters. Walking among the remains of the Koralle Bunker might unleash one’s imagination. One might see the soldiers sitting underneath the earth, eating their dinners from the same plates that now lay broken and soiled alongside history’s other leftovers, discarded in disgrace by the subsequent regime. These mental images undoubtedly add a hint of dramatism to this series.
While immersed in the refurbishing, I easily forget the origin of the objects on my desk, and the meaning behind them. But the gruesome history cannot be scrubbed clean, and, eventually, it begins to remind us of itself in its full gravity. As fascinating as it is to recover historical artefacts, there is an uneasy feeling that persists. Touching these objects may feel similar to coming upon the possessions of a serial killer: both revolting and provocatively intriguing, and somewhere in between.
Through the cleansing process, I wish to mutate the objects’ narrative into something completely different, giving them a parallel meaning for their existence and working to diminish and disengage them from their original purpose. Ordnung! is the transition from war to art.