Stephan Kaluza

Deutschducker (Surrendered German), Germany , 2005

Oil on canvas, plexiglass,
195X160 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin

The "surrendered German" at the center of the work by Stephan Kaluza kneels naked. It is only upon reading the title that his German identity becomes apparent. The ungainliness of his body imbues him with enormous power to pull himself together and get back on his feet. Furthermore, he is not located in any well-defined surroundings, so that his independence is boundless. Will he be able to get up, stand upright and free himself of his surrender?

By way of his painted body, the artist examines the German people and the evolution of the image of the proud German Aryan. Is today’s German still trapped in the ignominy accompanying him since his defeat in that terrible war, which he prefers to forget? Or has he contrived to reconstruct himself, lift himself out of history and shake off his past?