Florian Wüst

Dienst an der Notwendigkeit
Service to Necessity
Germany 2011

Kunstsaele Berlin
Opening: Wednesday 08.02. 19:00 - 21:00
daily: 11:00 - 20:00

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Florian Wüst’s ongoing artistic research project SERVICE TO NECESSITY examines shifting forms of political protest. The widely unknown story of Hartmut Gründler, a West German teacher and anti-nuclear energy activist who burned himself publicly in November 1977 in Hamburg, functions as a main reference in this. Besides his swift path to self-immolation, executed as a radical, albeit controversial and tragic act of resistance against “the continued governmental mis-information” in energy policy, particularly concerning the permanent disposal of nuclear waste, Gründler stands out as a prolific communicator. He published hundreds of pamphlets, articles, and letters to politicians. Against the background of global climate change and the crises of capitalism, Gründler’s critique of the role of language used to pacify common fears of high-risk technologies remains more than relevant today.
SERVICE TO NECESSITY comprises collages and line drawings of various formats. The different parts of the installation appropriate historical as well as contemporary documents, texts, and images, many of which were collected from the internet. The collusion of fact and fiction serves to compose an artistic narrative about the interrelatedness of individual struggles, political structures, and corporate power, about the possibilities and impossibilities of social change.
The work also addresses the ambivalent processes of cultural transformation, such as the history of the fast breeder reactor in Kalkar that became a privately run amusement park (in the wall drawing Nuclear Phase-Out) or the shift from indifference to incisive anti-nuclear message undergone by Kraftwerk’s song RADIOACTIVITY (in the video animation WHEN IT'S ABOUT OUR FUTURE – Kraftwerk’s RADIOACTIVITY (1975/1991) on youtube, re-remixed).

Florian Wüst, born 1970 in Munich, is a Berlin based artist and film curator. His work revolves around the history of post-war Germany and modern technical progress. Recent exhibitions include: MARQUEURS DE SUBDUCTION, Galerie B-312, Montréal (2011); ALL THAT REMAINS... THE TEENAGERS OF SOCIALISM, Waterside Project Space, London (2010); SHARED.DIVIDED.UNITED, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin (2009); COME IN, FRIENDS, THE HOUSE IS YOURS!, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2009).

Installation with wall drawing, single channel video
laser print, drawings on paper