Unfoldings

Two hands that precisely and methodically fold napkins: A daily movement until the fold becomes more and more narrow, multiplied until it cannot get any smaller, each fold stiffening the previous one in an attempt to regulate the fabric, to get rid of each irregularity and to compress each thread.


In Dominique Hurth’s work unfoldings, this simple movement becomes a gesture to translate the aryanization of the department store Grünfeld. Methodical, calculated and precise, the organised exclusion of non-Aryans from business life in Nazi Germany started with the Nürnberger Laws and the Aryan Paragraph and was eventually fully regulated by decree in 1938. Businesses were transferred to Jewish non-owners and the proceeds were taken by the state. That same year the owners of Grünfeld were forced to sell their well-known stores significantly below the market price. Grünfeld in deutschem Besitz illustrated the change of ownership with a woman advertising a pile of folded napkins.


Unfoldings quotes both the advertisement and Gründfeld’s aryanization, while more generally focusing on the precise methodology induced by the Nazis as a simple and daily, yet brutal and violent, handling of fabric within two hands.


The video work was presented within the theme year «Zerstörte Vielfalt - Berlin 1933 - 1938 - 1945», within a vitrine on the Kurfürstendamm (Berlin) from September to December 2013.

A collaboration of the Institute for Art in Context (University of the Arts, Berlin) and the Museum Charlottenburg, with the support of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, curated by Katja Jedermann and Renate Herter.




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