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Podack, Klaus

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 03/04/2008

A museum for persecuted arts

The art museum in the city of Solingen has turned itself into a 'Museum of persecuted arts' for a couple of months. Its exhibition is based on the collection of exile researcher Jürgen Serke, who has been investigating the fate of poets persecuted under both the National Socialist and the communist dictatorships. Klaus Podack reports: "An exhibition that focuses on books and their authors could potentially be incredibly boring. This exhibition doesn't just present individuals and their personal belongings in lexical order. ... It tells stories, stories that are mostly long but not boring. ... In both the exhibition and the catalogue, the collection creates a connection between names and the stories behind these names, which are not usually counted among the persecuted but somehow belong to this category in an ambiguous and in some cases obscure way. ... This is one of the great attractions of this unique exhibition: it doesn't repeat what we already know or thought we knew. It connects even familiar figures with their ambivalent histories."

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