Summer 2016, Der Engel im Koffer
Tri-national and interdisciplinary exhibition project in collaboration with the École of the Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux and the Escola d’Arts i Oficis de Barcelona
Students: Kanako Ishii, Dennis Mertsch, Christoffer Ejby, Charlotte Bräuer, Maria Turik, Anka Helfertova, Sascha Brylla, Alexia Manzano, Steven Thelen, Petra Peterffy
Walter Benjamin’s lost suitcase, which he carried during his failed escape attempt across the Pyrenees in 1940, contains his last manuscripts and has become the stuff of legend. For this project, students from French, Spanish, and German art schools followed its trail to create a traveling exhibition that opened in September 2016 in the former customs area of the historic Port-Bou train station. Benjamin took his own life in a hotel room located in this Spanish border village, where he was buried in 1940, and where the sculptor Dani Karavan erected the monument Passage in his honor in 1994. During the “practical” portion of the creative process, the students read Benjamin’s last texts and manuscripts under the supervision of Dr. Knut Ebeling. These texts are dedicated to Walter’s hope for a messianic “Angel of History” and revolve around the relationship(s) between history, politics, and theology.