Curated by Emily Pethick

Friday 12 September 2003

In Germany, around the turn of the century, a number of groups were formed that can be subsumed under the term ‘Lebensreform’ (Life Reform). These part utopian, revolutionary, reactionary and reformist approaches characterised the most varied attempts to break free from the Empire of the day: the nationalistic, capitalistic and monolithic Wilhelminian Reich.

In view of the development of ‘multitudes’ of parallel conceptions of life, the Life Reform movements were certainly predecessors of today’s ‘escapist’ constructions of identity, formed via lifestyle conceptions. At the time, some of these approaches lent a sense of ‘metaphysical depth’ to the arising National Socialism. Other groups were, on the contrary, persecuted by the society of the Third Reich, and incorporated or forced into line, which again produced another monolithic homogeneity.

The video that Stephan Dillemuth attempted to make about these matters was bound to fail in the face of their very complexity. Instead of presenting a refined and finished product, he confronts us with the assembled rubble of his investigation… a performance?

Stephan Dillemuth will give a talk at the gallery on Saturday 13th September at 4pm.

Links: INTERVIEW with Jacob Fabricius:




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