The knowledge of death and one’s own mortality is said to be the origin of culture. No wonder, then, that it has always been man’s goal to visualise it. The French historian, Philippe Ariès, was convinced that death was image-friendly. Where language fails, only the image can portray the radicality of death. The depiction of the dance of death, which emerged in the Middle Ages, shows death as an equalising force. It requests everyone to dance - whether king or peasant. It is the triumph of dying over human vanities that implies: No matter who you are - death is certain.
The artist duo Doppeldenk from Leipzig pursued this theme, in order to transport the representation of the dance of death into the present. Marcel Baer and Andreas Glauch are known for combining popcultural imagery and mainstream symbolism with subversive content. At first glance, the often colourful pictures lead the viewer to look forward to light, well-known fare – but, upon closer examination, he is confronted by a multi-layered content. A manipulation of the consumer, so to speak, which leads directly to the eponymous neologism “Doppeldenk” (Doublethink) from George Oewell’s 1984.
In the late 2016, Marcel Baer and Andreas Glauch presented their largely envisaged solo show “Totentanz” in Hamburg’s Affenfaust Galerie. The exhibition marks the next milestone in the long collaboration between the artist duo Doppeldenk and the Hamburg gallery.
Text: Michele Buss
Fotos: Dominik Wolf