Modern tales: Between villains, dominance and pain

Christina/ May 15, 2022/ The daily grind, Culture

The BBK Kunsthaus currently shows the exhibition “Modern Fairy tales”, i.e. classic pieces of art newly interpreted by Friedhelm Kranz. The show is not fantasy but magical. The way Kranz displays his acts is extraordinary. Works and art forms of other artists are copied and manipulated. And maybe they are also, that’s my thought, newly interpreted. For that the works are firstly digitalized and are subsequently being send to China via a filehosting-service. In the Middle Kingdom they are transferred on canvas before they will be sent back to Germany. But that’s not all. Back in our country the actual works of art are being created. With the help of digital technique all works are overprinted and manipulated. This procedure alone is fascinating, the subjects created by this even more. The show can be visited until May 31st, 2022. Grade: worth seeing.

Can this be coincidance?
The exhibition has very little explaining text. Therefore, I guess, everybody forms its own opinion and interprets depending on individual experiences. And right at the start of the show it’s neck or nothing. More explicitly there are two black puddings hanging on a cloakroom. Nexxt to it are pictures of the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman being placed who got infamous in Germany because of his contract murder of the system critic Jamal Kashoggi. Can this be conicidence?

Redeemer of the world
Also the manipulated painting hanging in the same room by Leonardo da Vinci “Salvator Mundi” with the Arabic characters on it does not seem to be conicidence. The letters form names. Names that allegedly belong to people who have been killed by the regime by public execution. Under MbS the number of executions seem to be on the rise again. Unforgotten his notorious deed when he had arrested relatives in November 2017 in a luxury hotel, because of allegation of a revolution.

Snow White an the naughty step mother
One room later we encounter Snow White. The innocent creature from the fairy tale whose step mother plays pranks on her. Well we don’t know whether the bad animals and the whip symbol only stand for envious mothers. The pictures give also room for other interpretations, such as the exploitation of Asian women by men from all over the world.

Rapunzel between tradition and modernity
We go upstairs. There we find not only pictures but also video installations. Plus, whoever wants to can act as a writer. On a typewriter getting a bit long in the tooth with a weak ink ribbon everybody can perform his own interpretation of love and hate. It might be purpose that the messages can hardly be read. That makes them more diabolical.

A video installation in the room next to it reminds us on the assassination on Ronald Reagan in 1981. The attempt is being shown alternately with scenes from the film “Taxi Driver”. Is this about comparing motives or the pure violence?

At the end we meet a Persian Rapunzel, caught between self-determination and tradition. For whom will she let down her pony tale? The german title is: “The beautiful bird is no longer in the nest and does not sing anymore.” What does it mean in a metaphor? Persian women are no longer willing to be suppressed, they are no longer waiting at home like the bird in its nest and do not sing upon her husband’s return home. As I said, the works are good for a lot of interpretations.

What a contrast at the Botanical Garden
More peaceful times can be experienced at the splendid flowering Botanical Garden just right across the street. Whereas within the greenhouse it is not only thorny but horny as well. Taut cactus are rise up to the sky with form which allow for little wiggle room than this: phallus symbol at its best. Also the rest of the garden is pretty much convincing: flowering garden peony, rhododendron, orchids and between it a moody cat and a blue tit working as a model. A really successful balance to the Kranz’ works.

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