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Anne Wenzel (1972, Schüttorf Duitsland) studied at the AKI, the academy for fine arts in Enschede. She now lives and works in Rotterdam. Wenzel is fascinated by the universal language of (war-) monuments and memorials. Her preference is given to monuments whose grandeur is affected by the ravages of time. The resulting contrast in her work often plays a central role. In dark, ceramic sculptures and installations she examines the beauty hidden in threat, destruction, disaster and decay. In this way she positiones herself as a descendant of 18th century Romantic painting, when artists found the sublime in the attraction and the threat of nature.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen regularly invites contemporary artists to an intervention, a presentation in which they reflect on the collection or the museum building. So does Anne Wenzel. Her Intervention # 13 - Requiem of Heroism is compiled by the City Collection Curator of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Maurizio Cattelan: a striking portrait
Maurizio Cattelan (1960) made this self-portrait in 2002. A hole was made in the floor of the museum hall specially for this installation. With this, Cattelan breaks down the foundations of the museum, both literally and figuratively. The artist enjoys making fun of the museum as an institution. His works explore the borders between legal and illegal, responsible and immoral. In 2002, he exhibited a kneeling figure in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen of Hitler praying. This gave rise to enormous controversy: exactly Cattelan’s intention.
Withered flowers and a teddy bear on the asphalt of the Kleinpolderplein got her thinking about research into the image language of monuments and their role in keeping alive a memory. In this interview, Anne Wenzel explains that hot air can seem overblown, heavy and pompous and that the true emotion that is in the memory can easily be suppressed by building monuments and exploiting them as tourist attractions. We soon forget, as we photograph, what really happened.
This interview is a compilation of an interview with Anne Wenzel in Boijmans TV (episode 4: Genuinely fake), which she gave on the occasion of her installation Requiem of Heroism (6 February - 3 October 2010). The interview is supplemented with material which could not, for time constraints, be included in the television programme.