100 Years Verdun - 100 Jahre Verdun / The exhibition took place April to October 2016 at the Mauer-Mahnmal im Deutschen Bundestag in Berlin.
April 7, 2016
2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of Verdun. The fighting between German and French troops, which lasted many months, became a symbol of the futility of an industrialised war that sent hundreds of thousands into battle and claimed countless victims. The First World War also marks the beginning of the tragedy of Europe trapped in wars and confrontations, which only ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Stephan Schenk was invited to trace this historical arc and show his series "Stations of the Cross" in the Wall Memorial of the German Bundestag in Berlin.
Schenk travelled to fourteen battlefields of the First World War in 2011 and 2012, bringing back photographs from Verdun, Skagerrak, Tsingtau and Tanga as well as ten other locations that give concentrated expression to the abstractness of history.
There is nothing of the countless dead, nothing of the suffering and despair of those who laid down their lives there. The artist confronts the indifference of nature, which allows grass to grow over graves and water to stand over ship graveyards, leaving it to us to recall the memory.
Schenk titles the series with the biblical concept of the Way of the Cross, which refers to suffering and martyrdom. At the same time, the artist is interested in the idea of crossing paths and the option contained therein to choose one's own path. This seems a remarkable idea in view of the fateful chain reactions that led to and emanated from the First World War.
Stephan Schenk (*1962 Stuttgart) lives and works in Lüen in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland and works with cameras from ALPA.
The exhibition took place April to October 2016 a the Mauer-Mahnmal im Deutschen Bundestag in Berlin. www.mauer-mahnmal.de