This Soil We Have Created For Ourselves - JONAS FEIGE *Signed
Jonas Feige’s THIS SOIL WE HAVE CREATED FOR OURSELVES suggests that history is an echo and perhaps also a shadow. The artist photographs his native Germany, his Heimat, with an alarmingly poetic sensibility. Underneath the beauty of Feige’s lens lurks a suggestion that history is incomplete, and the echoes of the past are, instead of diminishing, ringing louder. Though the artist uses a lyrical sensibility to discuss German history and its contemporary possibilities to be read as convenient propaganda, the artist also exhibits imagery outright of significance. The 1936 Berlin Olympic stadium with its cracked bell emblazoned with a swastika is one example in which the artist declares the reverberation both in literal and metaphoric terms. His use of shadow on the sides of German homes suggests an encroaching ideological tussle mirrored by the concept of the Volk who dwell between their walls. The emphasis on history and nationhood casts a long shadow over the present that Feige photographs, and he asks us to consider what potential the past has for Germany’s future. The book is a powerful reminder that history and its problematic discourses are never closed and that at any point, variations on its themes may present a disagreeable usage.