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Felix Gmelin: Color Test, The Red Flag II

10 September 2016, 20:00 - 31 October 2016

The Edith Russ Haus presented a new work in the Aquarium on the occasion of the Night of Museums. Felix Gmelin’s double projection Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II (Color Test, The Red Flag II), is based on Gerd Conradt’s revolutionary 1968 student film Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne. Conradt orchestrated a relay race in which his fellow students each took their turn carrying a red flag through Berlin’s streets. One of these relay runners was Otto F. Gmelin, the artist’s father. Felix Gmelin, who deals intensively with his father’s generation and his “leftist” upbringing in his works, reenacted the relay race in 2002, with his students, in Stockholm. In contrast to the revolutionary original from 1968, in which the last relay runner provocatively—and despite the furious protest of the onlookers below—drapes the flag from the West Berlin City Hall’s balcony; the runner from 2002 managed to gain entrance into the Stockholm City Hall, nevertheless the balcony remained vacant, hence, the revolutionary gesture incomplete. The installation presents the original and its restaging side by side, the runners seem to move from the depths of the room towards Peterstrasse. The viewer’s eye ceaselessly quickens from one film to the other, comparing streets, cars, clothes, and faces, trying to classify the respective films and their events. It also instinctively poses the question as concerns the meaning of the original act, as well as its reenactment, questions about the legitimacy of protest and revolution, the ‘68 generation, and the role of art.

The installation will premiere on September 10, 2016 in the Aquarium, and will then run from September 12 until October 31, every day from sunset to midnight.

Furthermore, Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II serves as a teaser for the upcoming The Fevered Specters of Art—Die fiebrigen Gespenster der Kunst exhibition, which will premiere at the Edith Russ Haus in November 2016, and at which Felix Gmelin will also be present.

 


Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II, (Color Test, The Red Flag II), 2002.
Courtesy Vilma Gold, London and Maccarone inc. NYC,  © Felix Gmelin / Gerd Conradt

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