Artist: Arne Schmitt
Venue: Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt
Exhibition Title: In Neuer Pracht
Date: May 5 – June 18, 2017
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt
The Gerling Quarter is a large scaled Real Estate project located at the north-west city center of Cologne. The administrative headquarter of the insurance empire Gerling, primarily constructed in the 1950ies and 60ies, was converted during the last years by a real estate developer to high-priced condominiums and prime office spaces. Adding several contemporary buildings, the characteristic of the existing architecture was purposely retained.
Hans Gerling, who expanded the company during the post-war period to an international insurance empire, had implemented his vision of a representative company headquarter with the help of several architects, advised by sculptor Arno Breker (Hitler’s favorite sculptor) who was friends with the family and who created various sculptures and reliefs for the plaza design. While during post-war years, the complex was mocked with the title “Kölner Reichskanzlei”, today the monumental Neoclassicism is promoted with expressions and attitudes which echo core values of National Socialism, as does the architectural style of the buildings: blatantly, but never explicitly, of course.
The Series “IN NEUER PRACHT” (Pracht: glory, luxuriance, splendor) summarizes this profoundly neoliberal ideological regress by photography and text.