media > Grafenegg 2017
 
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
Foto © Woessner
 

franz kapfer


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mein drama findet nicht mehr statt, # akt 1–3 (my drama is over, # act 1–3), 3 installations



Franz Kapfer staged his ensemble of installations like a play in three acts – “a comedy,” he says, albeit one with bite. Similar to Georg Büchner’s play Leonce und Lena (1836), he combined elements of romantic comedy with political satire in three large picture panels placed at different locations in the park, like stage backdrops for three acts. The motifs are based on political caricatures from the 19th century – a time when the Grafenegg Castle was being remodeled into its present form in the style of Romantic historicism. The first act shows Napoleon being banished to the island of Elba in 1814. Napoleon is sitting on a donkey facing backward, gazing back toward Fontainebleau one last time. Meanwhile, the words of wisdom that even the greatest success in a human’s life will eventually become a puff of air is being passed out of the donkey’s behind. In Kapfer’s work, historical events merely set the stage for the “human drama.” Napoleon’s failure thus stands for our realization of the banality of our own existence and the “farce of repetition.” In the second panel toward the back in the park, the Austrian chancellor Metternich, who is shown fleeing, represents a system breaking under the weight of its own fear of change, among other things. In the third act, we meet Napoleon again. This time he is depicted as the greatest art thief in Europe, as he tries to make off with the Quadriga from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin – for the sake of freeing her from the yoke of feudalism, of course.
(Cornelia Offergeld, Translation: Michelles Miles)


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