An Exhibition in 100 Steps
One hundred objects including quotes and note boxes, manuscripts and books as well as a leather jacket, a teddy bear, a little bark wood boat, a box of aspirins and preserves from the cellar. Together, they represent the world of Arno Schmidt (1914–1979), the most innovative, provocative and eloquent German author of the post-war era.
Equally admired and condemned during his lifetime, his oeuvre is internationally recognized today. Yet his work as well as his life was pervaded by contradictions—and to reflect this, the exhibition’s objects are grouped as antithetical pairs. Tradition and avant-garde, antiquity and future, prize winner and victim of persecution, but also stores and shortages, health and illness, left and right. A virtual note box projects one hundred of Schmidt’s idiosyncratic word creations across the exhibition.
In the accompanying programme, Dietmar Dath, Reinhard Jirgl, Kathrin Röggla, Ingo Schulze and Uwe Timm recall their first encounters with Arno Schmidt’s literature (“Mein erster Schmidt”, 8.10), and curators Susanne Fischer and Bernd Rauschenbach read from “Seelandschaft mit Pocahontas” (27.10.). At the exhibition opening the speakers include Kathrin Röggla, Vice-President of the Akademie der Künste, and Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Chair of the Arno Schmidt Foundation; Joachim Kersten, Bernd Rauschenbach and Jan Philipp Reemtsma read “Trommler beim Zaren”.
The exhibition is organised by the Arno Schmidt Foundation and the Akademie der Künste. With the kind support of the Friends of the Akademie der Künste