Dierk Schmidt: Galerie Ursula Walbrol

By Vogel, Sabine B. | Artforum International, October 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Dierk Schmidt: Galerie Ursula Walbrol


Vogel, Sabine B., Artforum International


Dierk Schmidt is concerned with the possibilities of historical painting in the present day. In his recent exhibition "Hostages," he established a network of historical associations with a recent occurrence: On October 19, 2001, a boat carrying 397 asylum seekers sank off the coast of Australia. The actual circumstances of the sinking were never fully clarified, but given Australia's draconian refugee policies, people do seem to have become, as Schmidt has put it, "hostages between political and bureaucratic systems." He draws a parallel between this event and a much older tragedy: On July 2, 1816, the Medusa, flagship of a French naval unit, ran aground in the vicinity of Cap Blanc with some four hundred passengers comprising both soldiers and settlers. The lifeboats were quickly taken by officers and important passengers, while the common soldiers, sailors, and settlers crowded onto an improvised raft that was supposed to be ragged by the lifeboats. When a storm arose, the hawser snapped; after twelve days, only fifteen of the 150 people on the raft were still alive. The French painter Theodore Gericault captured this moment in his monumental historical painting The Raft of the Medusa, 1818.

At the time, Gericault's painting was hung high up and in very bad light in a room of the Louvre. In Schmidt's painting of precisely this room, Louvre 2001/Salon Carre 1819, 2001-2002, he included next to the Gericault another significant historical painting, Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, 1830. He represented the Australian shipwreck with printouts of reports found on the Internet. Hung from the wall was a short quotation from Peter Weiss's Aesthetik des Widerstands (The Aesthetics of Resistance [1983]) describing Gericault's painting and posing the general question of how, if at all, art can be useful in political struggles.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Dierk Schmidt: Galerie Ursula Walbrol
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?