Was ist verloren?

Wieland Schönfelder & El Lissitzky




Under the eponymous question "What is lost?",Haus Coburg presents the first institutional solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Wieland Schönfelder, which was created in dialogue with a figurine portfolio by El Lissitzky.


Wieland Schönfelder (*1985 in Berlin) works with a scenographic understanding of sculpture that might as well be called installation, as it skillfully ignores the boundaries between figure, space and moving image. His sculptures resemble mannequins that are placed in various postures to express theatrically exaggerated emotional states. Opulent curtains, model stages in miniature, props and backstage areas are further borrowings from the world of theater that Wieland Schönfelder uses in the exhibition spaces.


The starting point for this production at Haus Coburg was provided by the figurine folder "The plastic design of the electro-mechanical show 'Victory over the Sun' by El Lissitzky (* 1890 in Potschinok, Russia; † 1941 in Moscow). He was referring to a futurist opera by Michael Matyushin, first performed in tsarist Moscow in 1913, which satirized the technological belief in progress of its time. When El Lissitzky was invited by the Kestner Gesellschaft to design a portfolio in 1923, shortly after the founding of the Soviet Union, he chose this operatic material. He designed nine figures made of geometric and typographic elements, equipped with an apparatus of movement flexible in every direction. Rational forms and high agility form here the basic elements for a positive vision of the future. On a banderole of the cover Lissitzky addresses an international audience in five languages with the motto: "ALL IS BIEN WAS GOOD НАЧИНАЕТСЯ ET HAT NO FINETA" - Everything is good that starts well and does not end.


In contrast, Wieland Schönfelder's new adaptation brings the experience of loss back into focus. For the victory over the sun leads to its disappearance. The consequences are incalculable for the characters, and this individual uncertainty takes on social dimensions.




Dr. Matilda Felix