The Scream of the Strawbear, Kunsthalle Gießen & Oberhessisches Museum, Giessen, Germany, September 7 - November 17, 2019.
In the framework of the research for this project, is the historical figure of Ernst Dieffenbach, one of the first European
scientists to travel to New Zealand. The show includes a straw version of Dieffenbach’s Rail, an extinct native New Zealand
bird named after him. In inverting Dieffenbach's colonial era journey, the exhibition presents a pseudo-ethnological
investigation of wider cultural phenomena and folkloric motifs that span Giessen, New Zealand and the UK. At the centre of
this artistic research are the Strawbear and the Maimann, two traditional seasonal rituals common to the region of Hessen,
Germany. The installation contains new artworks and videos as well as artefacts from the Oberhessisches Museum placed both
in the Kunsthalle and the Museum.
The exhibition was made with the grateful collaboration of : David Barnes, Boss Morris, Dr. Ludwig Brake
(Stadtarchiv Gießen), Prof. Dr. Siegfried Becker, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie/Kulturwissenschaft, Philipps-Universität
Marburg, Freiwillige Feuerwehr Rittershausen, Freiwillige Feuerwehr Steinbrücken, Traditionsverein Königsberg, Prof. Dr.
Volker Wissemann, Wiss. Leiter des Botanischen Gartens Gießen
Supported by: Verein Ehrenamt Gießen e. V., Canon and the KONE Foundation.
[image credits:Rolf K. Wegst]