Viewed from the outside, for most people Munich is synonymous with beer, the Oktoberfest and top-class football...
But ever since the so-called “refugee crisis”, the city has been associated with a lot more than that from an international perspective. It was around a year ago now that tens of thousands of voluntary helpers proved that the people of Munich have a heart and are prepared to share their prosperity with those seeking asylum. Countless volunteers as well as doctors, police officers and teachers dedicated their free time to the welfare of the refugees, supported by donations and public funding. An honourable commitment that is at the core of a caring and socially-conscious society. But we rarely stop and ask ourselves the question of why and how all of these people were forced to flee in the first place.
In the media we’re increasingly seeing images of destroyed and bombed cities in conflict areas. The causes of this are often “made in Germany”: namely the countless tanks, fighter planes, handguns and missiles from Germany that are responsible for this widespread destruction and displacement.
And if we count these tanks, fighter planes, handguns and missiles among the root causes of migration, the following question is raised: why are the common people – like in the game of global roulette during the financial debacle – left to pay the price for the economic success of the arms industry?br />
On the first day of his stay in Munich the Spanish artist ESCIF noticed one thing in particular: flowers. An abundance of beautiful blooms adorns the cityscape, which is characterised by a huge number of tourists. In these truly idyllic surroundings, refugees are a far less common sight than just one year ago, when thousands were arriving on a daily basis.
These ubiquitous flowers ultimately served as the initial inspiration for his artwork. In search of the most picturesque bicycle route to the Dachau concentration camp memorial site, ESCIF came across the names MTU and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann – two leading German arms manufacturers. Upon closer inspection, he was able to make out a few hundred tanks on the KMW company premises on Google Maps. Tanks that are sold from here to all parts of the world. A few clicks later, he had come up with his final image entitled “durch die Blume gesagt” (meaning “to say something in a roundabout way” and a wordplay based on “Blume”, which is German for flower). The motif is a reference to the fact that Munich – if only for a very small and exclusive group – is also world-renowned as a stronghold of the German arms industry.
And so with ESCIF’s beautiful painting, Munich’s cityscape has been adorned with another significant work of art – one that not only encourages critical scrutiny, but also actively demands it.
STANDORT: - Paul-Heyse-Strasse 20, 80336 Munich / Central Station