Paar #11: 1968–2019 (tools)

by

GABRIEL in collaboration with
JMH Schindele

 

Year

1968–2019

 

Size

24 × 25 × 33 cm

 

Material

Combat boots

 

Price

on request

Paar #11: 1968–2019 (Werkzeuge) [Pair #11: 1968–2019 (Tools)]

These boots are a cross-generational performance relic and a memory object par excellence.

First, they are the eleventh pair of shoes that Gabriel went through on his pilgrimage WEG. “My most important tool from August to October 2019.” Specifically, they play an exposed role in the Marianische Antiphonen [Marian Antiphones] as symbolic instruments. Taking them off and cleaning them in the first Marianische Antiphone is the leading symbol for the act of finally coming home after a long journey. The Tafel [Board] says, “Gabriel is cleaning his boots on the main square of the old Templar castle. Return and retreating, the soldier comes home – these are his thoughts.“

Walking without shoes is also a recurring feature in the artist’s grammar of movement. In this performance, he enters the Convento de Cristo barefoot, which could be read as a gesture of humility. The boots carry many more layers of memories and pre-histories of their journey.

Shortly before the photographer Stefan Hähnel left for Portugal, Gabriel informed ‘his curator’ Julian M. H. Schindele that the tenth pair of shoes is now in the process of disintegrating. Schindele intuitively thought of a pair of shoes that he had confiscated when he left his parents’ house. They had been a long-term fascination and curious object (unfortunately, they were three sizes too big). His father had told him, already in early childhood and with very rich imagery, of their history and ‘areas of use’:

Bernd Bublitz had bought these combat boots in 1967 while studying medicine. The reason for the purchase was his joining of the communist Thälmann-Kampfbund [Thälmann Combat Association] in Kiel, northern Germany. He was spurred to make the purchase by the thought of political agitation, demonstrations and more. Agility and movement on the streets in the time of the gentle revolution of ’68 is their origin.

Another important date in the course of the shoes is February 28, 1981, when, despite a ban on demonstrations, a large demonstration took place near Brokdorf in the Wilstermarsch. Around 100,000 people gathered to demonstrate against the continued construction of a nuclear power plant. A symbol of resistance and a key date that many in Germany will probably still remember, it was also a central moment for the then very young Green Party, which has become so influential in the narratives of our world today.

With these thoughts in mind, Schindele gave the shoes to the photographer Hähnel on his way to Portugal. They went from hand to hand, from generation to generation over a period of over 50 years. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the journey of the shoes began in the political sphere and disembogues in the spheres of art.


Other works of art in the exhibition

Artist GABRIEL & Julian M. H. Schindele
Name Zwei Antlitze – Die Wegkapellen-Madonna und die ephesische Artemis
Size 67 × 21 × 15 cm / 29 × 18 cm
Year 2020

Artist GABRIEL & Julian M. H. Schindele
Name Marianische Antiphonen I (Tafel)
Size 80 × 120 cm
Year 2020

Artist GABRIEL & Julian M. H. Schindele
Name Zwei Autoren: Feldarbeiter – Hausarbeiter
Size 111 × 38 × 50 cm
Year 2020

Artist GABRIEL
Name MA I – Die geleitete Feder
Size 80 × 120 cm
Year 2019

Artist GABRIEL
Name Urraum Altar & Die Dritte Waschung oder die Honigtaufe (tools)
Size 20 × 50 × 50 cm
Year 2017-2019

Artist GABRIEL
Name MA I – Die Dritte Waschung oder die Honigtaufe
Size 200 × 135 cm
Year 2019

Artist GABRIEL
Name Die Pflanze homo absconditus
Size 175 × 31 × 31 cm
Year 2020

Artist GABRIEL & Julian M. H. Schindele
Name Paar #11: 1968–2019 (tools)
Size 24 × 25 × 33 cm
Year 1968–2019

Artist GABRIEL & Julian M. H. Schindele
Name Karte I – 15.9.2015–7.8.2019
Size 54 × 97 cm
Year 2019

Artist Unknown artist (France)
Name Title unknown
Size 23 × 13 × 13 cm
Year late 19th century

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