Private View – Special Gift
Two prints, framed, each 50x40cm; one print, framed, 40x57cm; four prints, acrylic glass, each 30x40cm; found image, framed, each 21x29cm; wall clock, angle metre, two coins
“Private View – Special Gift” is the second display for decoding the actual relations between the art world and the weapon industry. The installation focuses on Karl Diehl and the Diehl Foundation. The weapon producer was a collector of Albrecht Dürer’s etchings. After Diehl’s death his collection, worth several millions, was given to the city of Nuremberg as a present. The starting point of “Private View – Special Gift” is again a reference to Hans Haacke’s “The Chocolate Master”: The history of the company, especially it’s involvement in the second world war as a German nazi weapon producer, is juxtaposed with the history of original art gifts given to the collections in Nuremberg. Diehl was founded in 1902 and has remained a patriarchal family business until today. The company has started to produce watches and calculating machines in the post war period, thus infiltrated the private households while simulatenously investing in new military technology, especially ammunition and aircraft defense. Because of delivering weapons directly to the German state, Diehl has been in close contact with politicians such as Franz Josef Strauss. The installation consists also of quotes from a report about the company’s tax fraud in which the Bavarian state was involved. Artefacts such as a commemoration coin of Karl Diehl, a Diehl’s wall clock and a found image of a calculating machine are placed next to a copy of Dürer’s “Draughtsman Making a Perspective Drawing of a Reclining Woman”.