Nightclubbing with Dennis Josef Meseg

Installation with red and white mannequins in the granary

She had brought him a criminal complaint, that installation of his 111 mannequins, wrapped in about 10 kilometers of red-white flutter band, in front of the Berlin Reichstag, Dennis Josef Meseg tells. On the one hand, he had set up his figures within the Bannmeile without permission, and on the other hand, he had disregarded the ban on gatherings in the middle of the Corona lockdown. The officials did not want to classify the event as an impromptu meeting. After all, for two hours they would have tolerated the sighting of people around the collection of dolls.

Meseg wants his installation to be understood as a "Corona Memorial". He had been on the road for two months, and now he has set up the installation with a team of helpers in more than 17 locations.

In the Brühler Kornkammer, Meseg, Johannes E. Mönch, Vincent Wilkening and Christian Schmidt are setting up a typical situation for the event room on Saturday, July 27, 2020, where nothing like this has been going on since mid-March. It is a concert situation with people waiting at the entrance in front of the building for admission, with those streaming from the other side of the street. Inside, it's already underway.

The landlady Magdalen Tillmann even identifies Grace Jones, who is based on the bass amplifier, on the basis of the head shape. A crowd of red-and-white figures listens, sitting on sofas, dancing, a dog in a corner, a thick-bush waitress at the bar, a gentleman with ideal dimensions at the mixing desk. Some lack limbs. Others, the fluttering tape goes to shreds, must be patched soon.

And "nightclubbing" sounds from the loudspeakers.

He wants to express issues such as social distancing, the vulnerability of the living, the loss of fundamental rights the fragility of our prosperity and the aftermath of the epidemic to the core of social life with his mannequins.

And the dolls are allowed to do what we were not allowed to do and to this day only with restrictions: the informal formation of a communicating group in a crowd. However, they remain strange mirror images, standardized, faceless and outrageously compliant.

"It's a bit like so often. Hundreds of people have come and no one orders anything to drink," jokes Rüdiger Tillmann, operator of the granary. With art, installations and exhibitions, he wants to bring the granary over the summer, into a still uncertain future. Meseg, the sculptor-student of the Alanus Institute, knows his wife Magdalena above all. Meseg has been learning yoga with her for three years, since Corona online via conference software. "At least that's booming," she says. "Who knows if I'll still be here in the granary in three months," asks Rüdiger Tillmann.

Dennis Josef Meseg:

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