9 novembre 1988
Ludwig Museum, Cologne
Gottfried Helnwein
Installation "Ninth of November Night"
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, September 9 - December 9, 1988
An Installation by Gottfried Helnwein in memory of "Kristallnacht" (The Night of Broken Glass) 1938. The Installation was erected in fall 1988 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Pogrom in the night of November 9, 1938. The Installation was placed between Ludwig Museum and the Cologne Cathedral, alongside the railroad track of the central station of Cologne. A hundred meter long wall of pictures with large images of children's faces, in a seemingly endless row, as if made to "line up to be sorted" - "selected". With the faces of christian, jewisch and handicapped children, that lived in Germany in 1988. The first panel was white and had only one word written on: "Selektion".
Neunter November Nacht (Ninth November Night)
scanachrome on vinyl, 1988, Installation between Ludwig Museum and Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, each panel 370 x 250 cm, 146 x 98"
Selektion - Ninth November Night (Neunter November Nacht)
(Selection - Ninth of November Night)
A 100 meter wall of pictures between between Museum Ludwig and the Dome of Cologne, 1988
With the Installation "Ninth of November Night" Gottfried Helnwein wanted to remind us of the "Reichskristallnacht"( "Cristal Night"), November 9th to 10th, 1938.
He has consciously foregone using documentary archive material. He is chiefly interested in the attitude behind the catastrophe, the roots of the holocaust - the delusion that one is able to measure the worthiness or unworthiness of humans by the form of the nose and ears, by the hair and colour of the eyes.
The perverse "healing precept of the chosen Nordic race", which vouched for the pure and the good, and described a whole gamut of lives not worth living, and which were considered to be the source of all evils such as crime, immorality and even illness. The cleansed of inferior genotypes.
For a long time Gottfried Helnwein has been occupied in his work with the theme of fascism and violence. In his installation "Ninth November Night", he has made use of a rather subtle, and perhaps because of this, a particularly moving language. He confronts the passers-by with larger-than-life childrens' faces in a seemingly endless row; children as if made to "line up to be sorted" in a concentration camp.
Placed, so to speak, opposite these faces, which force the observer into frontal eye contact, is the enlargement of a schematic illustration from the "Text Book of the Sub-Human" - "shapes of buttocks; A. of the lower B. of the higher race."
Neunter November Nacht
scanachrome on vinyl, 1988
The Installation "Ninth November Night" has been exhibited at the following locations:
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 1988
Musee'De L'Elysee Lausanne, 1990
Minoriten Church, Museum of Lower Austria, Krems, Vienna, 1991
City center of Heilbronn, Germany, 1992
Museum St. Ingbert, Albert Weisgerber Stiftung, Saarbrücken, Germany, 1993
Ludwig Institut, Schloss Oberhausen, 1995
Kulturbrauerei, Berlin, 1996
Museum of Fine Art, Otaru, Japan, 1996
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, 1997
City center of Cork, Ireland, 2004
Neunter November Nacht
1988, 400 x 1000 cm / 157 x 393''
Selection (Ninth November Night)
Selection (Ninth November Night)
Neunter Novenber Nacht
scanachrome on vinyl, 1988, 400 x 1000 cm / 157 x 393''
Selektion - Ninth November Night
scanachrome on vinyl, 1988
Selektion - Neunter November Nacht
scanachrome on vinyl, 1988
Neunter November Nacht
scanachrome on vinyl, 1988

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