Klaus vom Bruch

Artaud Speaks of the Soldiers

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CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1995

Klaus vom Bruch’s work ARTAUD SPRICHT VOR DEN SOLDATEN (Artaud Speaks of the Soldiers) is intended as a discourse about intensity, madness, destruction and delusion. Vom Bruch addresses these themes using a collage of documentary war film, music and the cry of an ecstatic poet.

Four video projectors, one facing another, show contrasting film material: Children from the newly liberated concentration camp Dachau; three soldiers of the Wehrmacht surrendering to the Americans; a concentration camp tattooing scene and an animated rubber skeleton. The intensity of contrast is only exceeded by Artaud‘s writing. An apparently funny game with the rubber skeleton is a macabre allegory for Thanatos, the longing for death; the laughing children in the concentration camp and beaten, desperate soldiers; a tattoo that incorporates lust as well as death and finally the contrast between picture and sound.

The contrast between the fear of death and a desire for love is underlined by romantic Mexican love songs, mariachi bands and rumbas from the 30’s and 50’s. A carnival of death which almost demands you tap your feet to its relentless beat. Klaus vom Bruch uses a backdrop of constantly updated war reportage from around the world in encouraging the visitor to consider the underlying reasons behind our illogical enthusiasm for war. Despite the dramatic presentation the goal is to provoke a sensory dislocation and not to make a profound political statement.

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