Mixed media installation (broken marble, fiberglass mock coin, photography)
Haacke represented Germany to win the 1993 Venice Biennale with his Germania. The viewer is faced with a photograph of Adolph Hitler before entering the Germania pavilion. On top of this image, where a swastika was one place, Haacke displayed a replica of a West German coin, suggesting the recent reunification as a capitalist victory. The coin also represents the complex relationships of art, politics, and commerce. Inside, on the floor, several thousand pieces of shattered marble are piled representing the revisits, revisions, and subverts the relationship between Hitler and the German pavilion. Haacke’s destruction in art is mimicry of Hitler’s destruction of society and culture. Haacke’s referencing of German history depicts the extreme dangers of nationalism.
Conceptual Art, Institutional Critique
Born: 12 August 1936, Cologne, Germany
Haacke invented modern activism as a political device for conceptual artists. Intervening through the space of a gallery or a museum his work decries the influence of corporations on society and the hypocrisy of liberal institutions that accept sponsorship from aggressive and conservative capitalists. His work challenges artwashing’s diversion from harmful practices of business es engaging in philanthropic engagement with art