Sluik / Kurpershoek, 1998, 20'30''

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In the 1990s, Sluik/Kurpershoek's videos began to be more and more like documentaries, without, however, ever becoming fully part of this genre. One of the characteristics in this respect is their special interest in marginal figures from the past, characters that disturb or at least complicate the linear narrative of official history. In 'FANALl! March RADAU', this character is Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutchman who, in 1933, was accused of setting fire to the Reichstag in Berlin. In fact, the year in which this video was made coincides with the launching of a foundation called 'A Grave for Marinus van der Lubbe', which commissioned Sluik/Kurpershoek to design a tomb for this Dutch bricklayer. The video revolves around the lawsuit against him and two other susects. In this connection, the artists made use of authentic soundtracks from the trial, in which even Hermann Gring, then German minister of home affairs, appeared as a witness. A second point of interest is Van der Lubbe's report of a hiking trip that was to take him to Peking, but ended prematurely at the Iron Gate on the Rumanian border. The visual material for this trip mainly includes images collected by the artists during a journey made in Van der Lubbe's wake, which in its turn ended at the Croatian-Serbian frontline near Vukovar. Not only the strange contrast between image and sound, but also the inexplicability of Van der Lubbe's life story, helps to demonstrate that there is no longer an unambiguous answer to questions of guilt and innocence. The grey area in which Van der Lubbe operated here appears to be linked to the way in which travelling, as a movement by which borders are crossed, can take on a subversive quality. The inextricable entanglement of geography and politics manifests itself in the double transgression. On January 10th, 1934, Marinus van de Lubbe was sentenced to death.

'FANAL' refers to 'signal', 'RADAU' to 'rioter'.

  • Date: 1998
  • Length: 20'30''
  • Type: Video
  • Participants: Reinier Kurpershoek, Ron Sluik
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: portrait, (experimental) documentary (artwork genre)
  • Keywords: found-footage, history, power, politics, travel, crime