Holographic Work “The Fireside Angel” by Cyprien Gaillard from 26. November 2021 at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg

26.11.2021
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg

From 26 November 2021 to 13 March 2022, the holographic work Hausengel (also known as The Fireside Angel) by the award-winning artist Cyprien Gaillard will presented in the rotunda at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg. The work refers to the famous painting of the same name by the surrealist Max Ernst, which was created four years before his emigration to the United States of Amerika, and enters into an impressive dialogue with Ernst's works and the permanent exhibition of the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection.

1937, a scene of destruction: Strongly affected by the world situation at that time – National Socialism raged in Germany, the Fascists ruled Italy and the Republicans had just suffered a heavy defeat in the Spanish Civil War – Max Ernst created the figure of the Hausengel. The artist himself described it as “a kind of juggernaut that destroys and exterminates everything that gets in its way.” Ernst painted three versions. The last and largest was subtitled The Triumph of Surrealism and served Cyprien Gaillard as the basis for another, fourth version of the Hausengel.

In 2019, at the 58th Venice Biennale, Gaillard brought the Hausengel back to life. Using electronic technology, he gave the raging monster a new meaning. The spookily flickering creature, which – unlike Ernst’s versionsdevours itself in order to continually bear itself anew, is only discernible from a certain viewing point. This epiphany of evil can only be seen from a position of direct encounter. Step aside and the haunting image instantly disappears. All that remains is a dark LED display, accompanied by an audible buzzing.