We Love the Marching in Dresden Exhibition

Hans’s controversial 1992 painting “Wir Lieben das Marschieren”  or “We Love the Marching” is to be shown at Dresden’s Bundeswehr Military History Museum as part of the exhibition “Gender and Violence” or “Gewalt und Geschlecht” that runs  from April 27th to 30th October. Visit their website for more details at http://www.mhmbw.de/

Hans received a commission from Rüsselsheim’s town council for a painting, to hang in the Town Hall in the room used for civil ceremonies. Hans discovered photos of Carnival marching bands in Rüsselsheim in his father’s slide collection and this became the subject of the painting.

He was working in a temporary open studio in Rüsselsheim’s Parkschule and was nearly finished when he was visited by an old Rüsselsheimer who asked him if he knew what had happened in the street he had shown in the  painting. He did not,  so she told him him about the events that had occurred in 1944 when the lynching of a group of American airmen POWs had taken place in that very street. Following further investigation, which confirmed the events and gave a fuller and complex picture, Hans then completed the painting by incorporating the shadows of the airmen in the picture. He also painted the Jewish Star of David onto the shadow figures to commemorate the brutalities of the war.

The controversy the painting created escalated when the picture was later removed from the council chambers for which it was commissioned. These events are fully documented by forum urbanum in Dialogue (2000) and also in the book “Wolfsangel a German City on Trial” by August Nigro.