Vergessene Fahnen (Forgotten Flags) by Florian Thalhofer
Exhibition concerning the need for pride and the fear of symbols
30 March - 11 May 2007
Mediamatic, an Amsterdam cultural institute, is holding an exhibition, Vergessene Fahnen, by the German artist Florian Thalhofer from 30 March to 11 May 2007. Using an interactive road movie and photos, he gives an account of fellow countrymen who, months after the World Cup football in 2006, are still hanging the national flag out. The exhibition is about the need for pride and the fear of symbolism. The hours of opening are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 18.00 to 23.00. With Weißwurst and Bavarian beer.
Germans think that showing the national flag is sinister. World Cup football in 2006 brought about a notable swing. Germans overcame — temporarily — their fear of association with right-wing nationalism. They were proud of their fatherland and put out flags en masse for the first time. But if flags are still fluttering six months after the World Cup, Florian Thalhofer would like to know why. Should he be afraid of the owners of these forgotten flags?
Thalhofer started searching for people who had kept their flags flying, together with photographer Juliane Henrich. These encounters resulted in an interactive road movie that may be read as an image of the times, not just of Germany, but also of Western Europe.
The exhibition goes into the concept of vaderland (fatherland) and the ambivalent feelings that national symbols may arouse. The flag appeals to feelings of unity and identity. But uneasy feelings about right wing radicals are never far away. Vergessene Fahnen poses questions about the stereotypes and prejudices of the viewer, and of the maker.
An edition of the cd-rom magazine Mediamatic Off-line will be published alongside the exhibition with the complete Korsakow version of Vergessene Fahnen. The photos in the exhibition are by Juliane Henrich. A programme with accompanying workshops such as making sausage and knitting flags, goes with the exhibition. And we will be serving Weißwurst with Bavarian beer.
There is free access to Vergessene Fahnen on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 18.00 to 23.00 hours, from 30 March up to and including 11 May 2007.
Making the film Vergessene Fahnen was partly possible thanks to the Goethe Instituut, in the context of German chairmanship of the EU.
Official Website: http://www.mediamatic.net/fahnen
Added by Mediamatic on April 23, 2007