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ARTUR ZMIJEWSKI
Zeppelintribüne, 2002/2005
Single channel video, projection or monitor, 5.32 min., color, sound
Ed. of 3 + 1 AP + 1 EP

This film was shot near the Zeppelintribüne in Nuremberg, designed by Albert Speer, chief architect of the Third Reich. The 360-metre-long structure is part of a larger architectural complex called the Zeppelinfeld, which the National Socialist used for their marches and rallies. The Zeppelintribüne was immortaliesed in Leni Riefenstahl's film-propaganda masterpiece "The Triumph of the Will", a record of a 1934 Nazi Party rally. The Zeppelintribüne was destroyed by degrees, beginning as early as 1945, when the Americans, who held a victory parade there, blew up a large swastika on the roof. In the 60's, th columns and side-reinforcement were removed, further stripping the ruin of embarrassing architectural allusions to the past. Zmijewski: "This is a place of pilgrimage for tourists - it's in every guidebook. It is at the same time the most neglected, dirty, and ruined place in all of Germany. They rarely clean, and reluctantly. You could say the whole nation works in solidarity to destroy these remnants of the past. Yes - dirt and litter are welcome here." The film features fragments of facist newsreels from the 1930's mixed with Zmijewski's own footage of a pair of Turkish artists-in-residence in Germany, dubbed the "Arbeitsmänner" ('workmen'), shovel in hand, parodying the ritual of military drill. "If these places are still 'alive', why not return to the historical forms. This is a film about impersonation, about memory. But about memory so perverse that leads many tourists standing on Hitler's old balcony to raise their hand in the gesture of the Nazi salute."

('If it happened only once it's as if it never happened. Einmal ist keinmal', published by Zacheta National Gallery of Art Warsaw, Kunsthalle Basel, Hatje Cantz, 2005, p. 125)

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