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Klaus Fabricius:
NO!art in Concentration Camp

To NO!art to Buchenwald concentration camp in winter, that was a proposal I was soon to decide. I was never there, it flew through my head, never in the concentration camp. Nor go there alone and should sleep in the warm. And as it turned out later in a side speech by the NO!art artist Boris Lurie, who was now showing his work there and who had been locked up there in the 1940s: Yes, he said, he had also slept worse than in this very shitty place, namely later once on a ferry. Was it from Reykjavik to ... ?

Well, I slept well. But those were only short hours. Not that the storm and the rain outside my room prevented me, no, because my room was good. The others too, at least the renovated ones and the ones in the lee.

I immediately met the NO!art experts Dietmar and Martin Kirves from Berlin. They showed us, with ironic smiles, how everything had to go for that night in the former SS barracks. On the arrival evening adventurous stories circled in the smoke of the common round. In the process, we heard eerie sounds in the solitude of the concentration camp memorial. "Be quiet, what was that, don't you hear it too?" ... A snowstorm swept through the concentration camp grounds outside on Goethe's Ettersberg.

In the morning, there was also something for breakfast, right next door in the other barracks, the canteen. Still with the charm of socialist coziness, which I defended from time to time, between the beloved Styrofoam ceiling and the imitation wood in the floor linoleum. For breakfast there was, "Do you have a cheese roll?" - "No, but sausage on a bun." That the sausage was warm was the good surprise.

Eckhart Holzboog had left Stuttgart at half past three in the morning, without sleep during the night, via Frankfurt Airport, where Boris Lurie and Clayton Patterson still had to be picked up, due to uncertain factors, because Boris Lurie had not found his passport again in New York. But now they arrived more than on time, nobody really wanted to believe it, here on the parking lot in front of the window, in front of our eyes.

The opening date forced us to quickly leave for the exhibition rooms in the former concentration camp disinfection building. It was impressive. True art. Multi-layered and authentic. There hung large and small paintings, painted-over collages and objects. A wondrous, poignant show by an artist who had thus been to this ghastly place before. The omnipresence of the renovated concentration camp building and the many images made me feel quite different. The network in my head reformatted itself. Impulses, idiosyncratic, strong disturbances shot through it.

Then the opening speech by the memorial director Dr. Knigge, a declaration of love to the man and artist Boris Lurie. He stood there, heard it and was moved. Incidentally, a few more people had come than I had suspected. I noticed Clayton in the middle. He was taking video photos with his left hand, but at the same time he was directing the video controller with his right hand and was grinning in a completely different direction.

The exhibition was opened. Boris Lurie answered everyone who asked. I bought the NO!art book, even though it fell apart while I was signing it. Then we went to the opening buffet in the former SS barracks. Oh yes, lots of goodies were there. I tried everything. Good mood in the round. The Rotkäppchen sparkling wine, a tingling recommendation from now on.

Slowly the rows thinned out, we moved closer together. But we stayed seated, even after the repeated veto to take advantage of the fresh air by going outside. But no one could really imagine that in the icy weather. Alas, alas, time passes. And the train to Stuttgart would not wait. Thank you to the artist Boris Lurie! Thanks to the pictures that remain with me!

Source: Boris Lurie, Geschriebigtes — Gedichtigtes, Stuttgart 2003

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KLAUS FABRICIUS born 1956 in Paderborn. Works with the intention that wonder about the world produces images whose existence and questionability ultimately makes the knowledge of the world intangible. Lives and works as an artist in Stuttgart. more

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