German Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia
By Yilmaz Dziewior
Giardini della Biennale, Venezia
April 23 – November 27, 2022
The German Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in 2022 will feature the artist Maria Eichhorn. By choosing Eichhorn, who was born in Bamberg in 1962 and lives in Berlin, the curator Yilmaz Dziewior has decided in favor of an inter- nationally highly recognized artist known as much for her conceptual approach as for her subtle sense of humor. With her visually minimal gestures, spatial interventions, and pro- cess-based works, Eichhorn critically examines institutional power structures and political and economic interrelationships.
Maria Eichhorn already drew wide notice in 2002 with her work Maria Eichhorn Aktiengesellschaft [Maria Eichhorn Public Limited Company], which she realized for the Documenta11 in Kassel. It consisted in the artist’s founding a public limited company with a special status that prohibited it from increasing its capital. By presenting foundation documents and the 50,000 – Euro equity capital – placed in a display case in a neat bundle of a hundred brand-new 500 – Euro bills – , she made a striking commentary on the relationship between art and the economy. The Rose Valland Institute founded by Maria Eichhorn in 2017 on the occasion of the documenta 14 likewise gained international attention. The project, which is still in progress today in cooperation with various scholarly institutions, researches and documents the dispossession of Europe’s Jewish population. In a manner resembling her earlier projects – for example Restitutionspolitik / Politics of Restitution (2003) and In den Zelten… (2015) – , Eichhorn thus raises the issue of unresolved ownership and property structures from 1933 to the present and the continued effects of Nazism.