Stunde Null LAB
Stunde Null LAB is juxtaposed with the exhibition Woman Made of Plaster to create an open research laboratory. Seventy-five years after the end of Nazi rule, it provides a framework for a growing collection of contemporary witnesses and historical fragments on the artistic, political and social situation after the Second World War.
Following the collapse of the Nazi tyranny, almost everyone in Germany had to find their way in a radically changed world. “The moment of new beginning at this historic low point is reffered to as ‘Stunde Null’ (‘zero hour’). But when exactly did ‘Stunde Null’ occur?” Was it when the concentration camps were liberated, when the Wehrmacht unconditionally surrendered, when East and West Germany were founded, or only at the time of Germen reunification more than four decades later? And did it really represent a new beginning?
As an artistic description of zero hour, opposite Woman Made of Plaster hangs a painting by Rupprecht Geiger. Geiger developed his style of painting directly from his experience of ‘Stunde Null’:
It’s Stunde Null in Germany. I’m walking along Theatinerstrasse towards Marienplatz square, past heaps of rubble from collapsed houses. Everything is lifeless, grey, dust and ashes. The Renaissance façade of the old police station can be seen ascending from a mountain of rubble, a solitary free-standing wall a few storeys high; the two side streets adjoining the road no longer exist. Suddenly, I see a bright red glow, a trace of colour emerging from Maffeistrasse to the right and moving across the street in a gentle curve – a colour signal, an unprecedented red in front of a macabre grey backdrop. What is this phenomenon? An American girl in a bright red sweater got out of a jeep and briskly crossed the road … – Rupprecht Geiger
In a series of essays, historian Angela Müller and art historian Katja Sebald approach the upheavals and developments at the end of Nazi rule from regional perspectives.