“…history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”
W-E, takes Goethe’s poems as a starting point in meditating upon the West’s idea of the East. A refuge for the imagination:
an eroticised and fabulous land where one might meet ones reflection, or lose oneself through the looking glass. The
West is not to be seen in return because its authority is not threatened. The Analyst has no reflection. The land of dreams
is therefore to be regarded as the analysand; Omar Khayamm cushioned and reclined. The Unconscious, the Muse, the
North and west and south are breaking,
Thrones are bursting, kingdoms shaking:
Flee, then, to the essential East,
Where on the patriarch’s air you’ll feast!
There to love and drink and sing,
Drawing youth from Khizr’s spring.
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the East to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light
“Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: - do I wake or sleep?”
“I stand at the window of railway carriage which is travelling uniformly, and drop a stone on the embankment, without
What Time is the Station Leaving the Train, which similarly, is an Einstein quote. It is a meditation on time travel and a
sort of primer in relativity. It is a companion piece to When Parallel Lines meet at Infinity, which used footage shot from
the front of a Circle Line train in London, which was then projected onto a wall on which a black spot representing the
vanishing point had been painted. Berlin’s S-bahn ring provides a similar opportunity for endlessly repeating loops (and
both take just over an hour).
This time there are two vanishing points, two projections. The footage was shot by two cameras facing away from each
other recording two opposite views of the same journey. When these are projected side by side they produce a puzzling
but beguiling kind of palindrome. Once the train (or station) starts moving the images begin to accelerate away from each
other in diverging harmony.
A ist fur Alles
“...the idea was to see what would happen if you brought these people together to play in an orchestra in Weimar, in the
spirit of Goethe, who wrote a fantastic collection of poems based on his enthusiasm for Islam. Goethe discovered Islam
through Arabic and Persian sources – a German soldier who had been fighting in one of the Spanish campaigns in the
early part of the nineteenth century brought back a page of the Koran for him. Goethe was transfixed. He started to learn
Arabic, although he didn’t get very far. Then he discovered Persian poetry and produced this extraordinary set of poems
about the “other” really, West-ostlischer Diwan (The West-Eastern Divan), which is, I think, unique in the history of western
And that was the idea behind the experiment. And then, under that aegis, to bring the musicians together at Weimar, which
is very close to Buchenwald, the terrible death camp. In fact, Buchenwald was designed to be near Weimar, which has
had been romanticised as the city at the very pinnacle of German culture: Goethe, Schiller, Wagner, Lizst and Bach had
all lived there. Nobody could fully comprehend the proximity of such sublimity to such horror.” - Edward Said
Painting the Divide
These are contested places or dreams of places that once were and might be again. Jerusalem, Famagusta and Berlin
An object brought from the East to the West, the folding screen is the flimsiest of dividing lines, a zigzag of a contested
zone. It introduces time to an image, yet it is not really a sculpture.
On the other side take off all your clothes.
The screen is made to obscure, so what has it got to show? If it has something to hide it is natural to look at it with suspicion.
These screens are backed up against the wall.
Mark Wallinger, 1959 in Chigwell geboren, lebt und arbeitet in London. Seine Arbeiten reflektieren sozial- und
kulturhistorische Fragen, im besonderen auch das Phänomen nationaler Identität. Er wurde Mitte der 80er
Jahre einer größeren Öffentlichkeit bekannt, und 1995 auch für den Turner Prize nominiert. 1999 erregte er
Aufsehen mit seiner Installation Ecce Homo am Trafalgar Square, 2001 vertrat er Großbritannien auf der Biennale in Venedig. In den darauffolgenden Jahren hatte er unter anderem die Einzelausstellungen No Man’s
Land in der Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2001), Via Dolorosa in der Städtischen Galerie im Lenbachhaus,
München (2003), Christmas Tree in der Tate Britain, London (2003) und Sleeper in der Neuen Nationalgalerie,
Berlin (2004). 2001/2002 bekam er ein Stipendium des DAAD für Berlin, 2002 wurde er Ehrenmitglied des
London Institutes und 2003 erhielt er das Ehrendoktorat der University of Central England.