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In May 2010, Susanne Gaensheimer invited Christoph Schlingensief to exhibit at the German Pavilion of the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011. The present volume documents his plans for the pavilion. In light of his death, Gaensheimer has realized an exhibition of existing works by Schlingensief.
Sometime in the spring of 2010, Christoph Schlingensief began to think about an idea for the German Pavilion that he would work on until his death on August 21, 2010. This idea gradually took definite shape as he played through the possibilities it opened and the associations it called up in his mind; but of course he had not fleshed it out in all formal detail by summer 2010. The way he worked, Christoph Schlingensief would probably have kept reconsidering and condensing this original idea right until June 1, 2011, the day the German Pavilion was to open, responding with his outstanding capacity of observation and celerity to what would happen in his immediate as well as extended social and political environment.
What would ultimately actually have taken place at the German Pavilion? There is no way for us to know, and so all we can do today is describe the shape this idea had taken when, after his long struggle with cancer, Christoph Schlingensief unexpectedly died while working on it.
Helke Bayrle, Klaus Biesenbach, John Bock, Frank Carstorf, Thomas Demnad, Chris Dercon, Diedrich Diederichsen, Boris Groys, Carl Hegemann, Irm Hermann, Johannes Hoff, Andy Hope, Elfriede Jelinek, Schorsch Kamerun, Alexander Kluge, Dietrich Kuhlbrodt, Aino Laberenz, Torsten Lemmer, Matthias Lilienthal, Jonathan Meese, Michaela Melián, Thomas Meinecke, Klaus Mertes, Eva Meyer-Hermann, Werner Nekes, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Raue, Charlotte Roche, Stephanie Rosenthal, Karlheinz Schmid, Elisabeth Schweeger, Georg Seesslen, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Sandra Umathum, Antje Vollmer
Christoph Schlingensief was born in Oberhausen on October 24, 1960. At the age of eight, he shot his first film. After subsequent short films, he created his first feature-length film, “Tunguska – Die Kisten sind da”, in 1984. In 1993 he directed his first theater production at Volksbühne, Berlin, “100 Jahre CDU – Spiel ohne Grenzen”. Between 1997 and 2003, Schlingensief worked in television and in 2004 he started directing operas.
When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 he tackled his illness head-on in his production “Der Zwischenstand der Dinge” at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin. Christoph Schlingensief died in Berlin on August 21, 2010.