The popular rotunda project in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich continues: this time the artist Alfredo Jaar surprises with the installation of a million passports.
For example, you are planning a trip to Asia.
When booking a flight, I looked at my passport: Oh, no, it's expired.
That's right, a day in the waiting room of the KVR for the purpose of extending your ID can be tedious.
But it's a joke compared to what people suffer who don't even have an ID card.
One feels a bit shabby considering the matter-of-factness with which one treats this valuable asset – a passport – and sometimes lets it pass unnoticed.
As a German citizen, you can travel to 127 countries without a visa thanks to the wine-red booklet, and to a further 46 with a visa.
For comparison: A citizen of Afghanistan can only enter 38 countries without additional hurdles.
Alfredo Jaar placed a monumental block of one million German passports in the rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.
Maybe that's why the monumental block that has been standing in the rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne since yesterday reminds you of a wad of banknotes, neatly stacked.
At least as valuable is what the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar has piled up here with the help of the architecture museum team.
"For ten hours, ten of us arranged a million German passports in the glass cube," says Andres Lepik.
Since taking office around ten years ago, as head of the architecture museum at the TU, he has had the political dimension of (architectural) art in mind.
Efforts to show social grievances - such as in the current exhibition by Marina Tabassum from Bangladesh - Not just those of the western world, always thought of globally;
always thinking outside the box.
Alfredo Jaar during his visit to the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.
In the fourth year of the rotunda project, after the other three museums housed in the Pinakothek der Moderne, it is now Lepik's turn to place a work in the foyer for several months.
At the press conference, Lepik explicitly thanks the PIN.Freunde association, which supported the work without even knowing what it was about.
“To date, no one outside of our team has learned the title or content.
We wanted to make a surprising statement.”
A million self-printed (How? Where? The boss is silent, grinning) passports.
They stand for one million people who came to Germany during the 2015 refugee crisis.
Alfredo Jaar is familiar with the migration policies of Germans and Europeans.
He lived in Berlin for a year, not just any old city, but: 1990. When he arrived, he saw how Turks were treated as second-class citizens.
"When the Wall opened, the former GDR citizens became second-class citizens - and the native Turks became third-class citizens."
Since then, Jaar has followed "with horror" how Europe continues to do everything it can to ward off people in need.
Angela Merkel's sentence "We can do it" moved him to tears
He urgently reminds that the largest refugee camps are in Turkey.
Paid for by the EU so that men, women and children can stay there.
“Nobody in the EU followed the Geneva Convention.
But then: the Ukraine war.
And suddenly Europe opened its arms.
Even fascist countries like Poland or Hungary.
Since then I have had to think of all those whom Europe rejected.
How must they feel when they see that Ukrainians can find jobs and housing here, but they can't?
Do their lives and suffering matter less?” asks Jaar.
When Angela Merkel announced "We can do it" in 2015, he cried with emotion.
"I finally felt warmth."
The passports, however, also stand for the hatred that the fugitives were met with: one million, that's roughly the number of voters who migrated from the CDU to the AfD because of Merkel's policies.
You stand there touched, ashamed, uneasy, surrounded by the rotunda pillars.
Jaar painted them: black, red, gold.
What values do these colors stand for?
Until August 27, 2023 in the rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne;
10am-6pm, Thursday until 8pm;
Admission is free.