Motiv: Gesicht Zeigen (2024), © Studio Naneci Yurdagül, Frankfurt am Main / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024

MADE IN GERMANY Installation

An art intervention by Naneci Yurdagül, outside on Max-Mannheimer-Platz and inside the Munich Documentation Center

July 12 to October 6, 2024

About the art intervention

The intevrention MADE IN GERMANY comprises two installations in which the sculptor and performance artist Naneci Yurdagül (b. Frankfurt am Main) asks fundamental questions about human co-existence: How should we treat one another? What makes a person human? Inside, in softly radiating neon lettering, the slogan a mentsh is a mentsh proclaims the unconditionality and inviolability of the dignity of every human being. Outside, on Max-Mannheimer-Platz, the intervention Dunkel Deutschland references the complex history of German national symbols and reflects on the current threat to social cohesion in a democracy. The two works are complemented by the visual motif Gesicht Zeigen.

In his artistic practice Yurdagül undertakes a critical inquiry into the themes of origin and national and religious identity and their associated attributions. He often uses markers anchored in the collective consciousness—for example, religious and political symbols, cultural practices, and above all language—as a means of expression. Yurdagül changes or combines them in subversive ways, so that they become charged with new meanings and associations. 


July 12 to October 6, 2024

Munich Documentation Center, Foyer and Max-Mannheimer-Platz

Karolina Kühn

The intervention is part of VARIOUS OTHERS

Untitled – a mentsh is a mentsh (2020)

The word Mentsh, meaning “human being,” comes from the Yiddish. It refers to the essence of what it means to be human: a “true” Mentsh shows compassion, is fair, honest, and kind. Jewish children have always grown up with the imperative: “Sei a Mentsh!”. In the meantime, Mentsh has come into US American as a colloquial term.

The artist Naneci Yurdagül created his artwork in response to the rightwing terrorist attack in Hanau on February 19, 2020. With “a mentsh is a mentsh” he has formulated a universally valid statement. It reminds us that being human has nothing to do with gender, origin, religion, or age. That is also why human dignity stands as a first principle in Article 1 of Germany’s Basic Law. Everyone is obliged to respect and protect human dignity.

Installation at the Munich Documentation Center  | © Studio Naneci Yurdagül, Frankfurt am Main / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Photo: NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, Connolly Weber

Dunkel Deutschland (2024)

The flag of the Federal Republic of Germany has a long and complex history. It symbolizes unity, freedom, and democracy and yet it has been abused time and again by those advocating nationalism and exclusion. Its colors—black-red-gold—date back to the 19th century and are closely linked with the German freedom and unity movement. In 1919 these colors made up the flag of the first German democracy, a fact that the founders of the Federal Republic of Germany recalled in 1949 when, following the end of the Nazi regime, they designated these colors for the flag of the new state.  

In his work Dunkel Deutschland Naneci Yurdagül questions the state of our democracy today. Located in the middle of the former Party quarter of the NSDAP, the flags allude to antidemocratic continuities in German history. At the same time, the work is also a political commentary on a present in which a right-wing extremist party is winning large numbers of votes in elections and in which acts of racist and antisemistic violence are on the increase.  On the 75th anniversary of Germany’s Basic Law, the intervention reminds us that the values symbolized by the flag must be defended by each and every one of us.

Installation on Max-Mannheimer-Platz | © Studio Naneci Yurdagül, Frankfurt am Main / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, photo: NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, Victor Holz