Please note that the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau is closed on 24 April 2024.

Fragments of Memory

The Treasury of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague in Dialogue with Edmund de Waal, Josef Koudelka and Julian Rosefeldt

Humans are beings who believe and remember - they are historically aware beings. The exhibition "Fragments of Memory" combines five complexes of works and themes that address faith, remembering and holding on to memory.

  • DATES 16/03/2024—08/09/2024
  • Opening Hours daily 10—18, Monday closed
  • Admission Fees normal 8 €, reduced 6 €, under 17 free, groups (10 persons and more) 7 €
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Im Zentrum

At the centre of the exhibition is the relic treasure of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague, which has grown over the centuries and is the subject of a dialogue between three contemporary artists. Edmund de Waal's ceramic work creates spaces for meditation and reflection with the finest nuances of colour, form and rhythm. Josef Koudelka's photographs document the wall that Israel has erected against the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. The film "In the Land of Drought" by Julian Rosefeldt evokes memories of the prehistory of human civilisation in regions of drought and questions our relationship to the environment and the historical consciousness of the present day. This ensemble is completed by a library that can be used by visitors as a place where the memory traces of our civilisation are collected and processed - even if they are only fragmentarily preserved.

© Martin Polák
Tafelreliquiar (Staurothek) aus der ehemaligen Abtei St. Martin in Trier, Trier, 1266

Edmund de Waal

The ceramic work of the artist Edmund de Waal (*1964) creates spaces for meditation and reflection. He sees his objects as attestations of stories: In “Irrkunst”, he refers to the German thinker Walter Benjamin, his flâneur’s wanderings and his interest in the countless little things that make up this world. The work “i.m. (in memorian)” reveals the life of Moïse de Camondo, a Jewish art collector and banker. De Waal made his family’s intricate network of relationships and those of de Camondo the subject of his recently published book “Lettres à Camondo”. This is underlined by the story of a Meissen porcelain service belonging to the von Klemperer family, a Jewish family that had to flee Dresden in 1938. The porcelain service was confiscated and severely damaged during the bombing of the city. Edmund de Waal acquired it at auction many years later and had it reassembled.

Fragmente der Erinnerung im Lipsiusbau
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Oliver Killig
Edmund de Waal, Ausstellungsansicht "Fragmente der Erinnerung"

Josef Koudelka

In stark contrast to this are the large-format photographs by Josef Koudelka (*1938). They show landscapes fragmented by the construction of the wall between Israel and the Palestinian West Bank - the region in which the three great monotheistic world religions have their roots and sacred sites. On the initiative of the Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Jewish Museum Berlin), and as a participant in the “This Place” project, Koudelka travelled to Israel and the West Bank eight times between 2008 and 2012 with the aim of creating a visual record of the complex situation there, turning him into an attentive and critical observer of what has happened and is happening in this historically so significant location.


Julian Rosefeldt

The film “In the Land of Drought” by Julian Rosefeldt (*1964) uses abandoned film sets to evoke memories of biblical prehistory and the development of humanity, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. The film also looks at the traces of Central Europe’s industrial past, capturing current concerns about cultural destruction, environmental damage and climate change.

Fragmente der Erinnerung im Lipsiusbau
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Oliver Killig
Julian Rosefeldt, „In the Land of Drought“ — Ausstellungsansicht "Fragmente der Erinnerung"

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