EXHIBITION CURATED BY LENORE BLIEVERNICHT AND THILO FISCHER
BURG KLEMPENOW, WESTERN POMERANIA
© "RASTSTÄTTE 1KM. BERT NEUMANN", FOTOS BY LENORE BLIEVERNICHT, BERT NEUMANN ASSOCIATION GUG, 2022
For the first time after his death, works by the artist Bert Neumann were presented in an exhibition in Germany.
Situated directly on the Tollense River between Bundesstraße 96 and Autobahn 20, the exhibition made it possible to take a break and go on a tour of Klempenow Castle and its exhibition rooms, which are steeped in history.
The exhibition, curated by Lenore Blievernicht and Thilo Fischer, brought together costumes, prints, illuminated objects and readymades from Bert Neumann's artistic estate. Video and sound collages created for the exhibition provided insights into previously unpublished film material from the years 1995 to 2005.
The artist, stage and costume designer Bert Neumann, whose oeuvre includes more than 230 works for theatre, film and opera in addition to his visual art, discovered the Tollensetal with his family in 1995. From then on, his new adopted home in the Mecklenburg Lake District was both a place of departure and a retreat for him.
The interplay of nature and work influenced many of his projects, such as the stage design The Brothers Karamazov, from which a fabric print can be seen in the exhibition.
"To make art, you can't avoid the authentic. If I make something as an artist, it must have to do with me." (Bert Neumann, 2015)
The Rolling Road Show, which he invented, was decisive for Bert Neumann's artistic conception, taking theatre out of the temples of art and onto the streets and outskirts of Berlin, to Schwedt an der Oder and Mühlheim, to Paris, London and Sofia and as far as Sao Paulo, Yogyakarta and Tokyo. In the process, he invented performances in which exchange and collaboration with local people became fundamental to the artistic production process.
"The fact that one can develop the special out of the banal, the everyday, interests me more than this deliberate artfulness." (Bert Neumann, 1999)
From 1992 until his death, he shaped the artistic concept of the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz with this view, which was considered the most important stage in the German-speaking world of the post-reunification period with its history- and present-oriented theatre.
"Anyone who has only been going to the theatre regularly since the beginning of the new millennium cannot know how comprehensively the man has revolutionised theatre." (Anke Dürr, Der Spiegel, 2015)
Since 2018, the non-profit Bert Neumann Association (BNA) has been conceiving a living archive in which one can work with and not only about Bert Neumann's work. In doing so, it enables Neumann's artistic legacy to continue to be available for new projects. The BNA thus interrupts a production cycle in which the performing arts are so often caught: disposal.
For the German contribution to the Prague Quadrennial 2019, the BNA designed an exhibition for the first time using several of Bert Neumann's works with an independent moving space (jury's main prize).
Bert Neumann worked as both a costume designer and a stage designer, but there are hardly any discussions about his costume design work. For incomprehensible reasons, the costume design is often perceived as being secondary to the direction and the stage.
With the costumes borrowed from the Rococo period from the play Ein Chor irrt sich gewaltig, the exhibition showed Bert Neumann's costumes outside the theatre for the first time. The ethnic patterns used here alienate 18th-century clothing and are based on African and culturally unclassifiable motifs.
All the exhibits in the exhibition are inevitably quotations torn out of their context. Through Bert Neumann's self-determined working method, they stand for themselves: as independent and yet corresponding objects.
"One simply takes what is there". (Bert Neumann, 2001)
On the occasion of the exhibition, the publication Raststätte 1km. Bert Neumann Vol. 2.
The exhibition was organised by the Bert Neumann Association gUG, Lenore Blievernicht and Thilo Fischer in cooperation with Kultur-Transit-96 e.V.. The project was funded by the BKM, the Bundesverband Soziokultur and NEUSTART KULTUR.
On 30 July, the exhibition was opened with a concert by the band Goshawk. On 8 and 9 August, the Hollywood Klub Klempenow took place, a free stage design workshop for children and young people, supported by the German Foundation for Volunteering and Engagement.
© "RASTSTÄTTE 1KM. BERT NEUMANN", DESIGN BY LEONARD NIKITA , BERT NEUMANN ASSOCIATION GUG, 2022
"Oklahoma liegt in Vorpommern", Ulrich Seidler, Berliner Zeitung, 24.07.2022