Special Exhibition | 18.03.2018 – 26.08.2018

The Fall of the Stars Julian Rosefeldt’s video installation 'In the Land of Drought' and Albrecht Dürer’s and Jean Gerson’s portrayals of the Apocalypse

Apocalyptic conceptions of the end of the world have fascinated mankind for centuries. This exhibition brings together two pictorially powerful visions of the end of time: Julian Rosefeldt’s work 'In the Land of Drought' and Albrecht Dürer’s illustrations for the Book of Revelation. In his video installation, Julian Rosefeldt (born 1965) depicts a post-apocalyptic imaginary future in which man is inescapably confronted with the consequences of the overexploitation of the Earth’s resources. More than five-hundred years before Rosefeldt created his work, Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) illustrated the Bible’s foretelling of the end of the world with fifteen woodcuts. First published in 1498, the fanciful yet fear-inducing series responded to the mood of gloom and doom that prevailed as the turn of the century approached. Roughly contemporaneous with Dürer’s series is a Dutch printed edition of the eschatological proclamations of the theologian Jean Gerson (1363–1429). Provided with fifteen sequences of naive, vivid illustrations, this little book is a practical demonstration of the way in which people were to envision the portents of the end of the world and the Last Judgment.

The exhibition focuses on this concentrated collection of works in order to explore the timeless fascination with apocalyptic ideas and images. Both the medieval doomsday visions and the contemporary perspective presented in the show are a reflection of man’s primal fear of an uncertain future and paint a bleak picture. And yet despite all their horror, the three works allow for a glimmer of hope, inviting visitors to think about how they interact with the world and the consequences of their own actions.

A publication in German, English, and Dutch will accompany the exhibition.


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Albrecht Dürer, The Fall of Stars, um 1497/98 (detail) | © Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen

In parallel

Special Guided Tour
21.01.2018 | 11.00 – 12.00
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Special Guided Tour
28.01.2018 | 11.00 – 17.00
Open house