Im Kreise drehen / Turning in Circles, 2009
1 video projector, 2 speakers; 15:50 min.
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
Installation Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2011
Photo: Thomas Müller, © Anton Kern Gallery, New York
Im Kreise drehen/Turning in Circles uses the means of film to approach the mausoleum at the Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin, Poland. The film opens with a scene of two young men in white shirts rolling around in the grass. The work goes on to explore the monumental memorial; built in 1969 based on a design by Wiktor Tołkin in the socialist-futurist style, it preserves the ashes of murdered human beings in a sort of giant sacrificial urn. Closely scanning the concrete surface in a tracking shot that seems endless, the camera examines the mausoleum’s architectonic and physical structure. The viewer learns what he is looking at only from a series of captions supplying information. The film subsequently features documentary footage from the Jewish ghetto in Cracow overlaid on the pictures of the masonry. The dimensions of the building become discernible as the camera gradually moves from the outside into the mausoleum. The two young men, tourists visiting the site, attempt to bear up against the cold atmosphere of the concrete. Not before the closing credits do we see the huge monument in its entirety.