Walle! walle* – Exhibition


An exhibition of the Museum Casa di Goethe with the Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo

Works by Danica Dakić, Arijit Bhattacharyya, Diana Pacelli, Farzane Vaziritabar and Lea Maria Wittich

Duration of exhibition: 8.6. – 10.9.2023.

Opening: Wednesday, 7th June at 7 p.m.


Dr. Gregor H. Lersch, Director Casa di Goethe

Dr. Julia Draganović, Director of the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo

Based on intensive engagement with Goethe’s Weimar home, his collections, and the Italian Journey, Danica Dakić, currently Rome Prize winner of the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo, has developed an exhibition project in Weimar and Rome together with the artists Arijit Bhattacharyya, Farzane Vaziritabar and Lea Maria Wittich. In site-specific interventions developed from their individual artistic perspectives, the participating artists from Germany, India and Iran trace the connections between the two Goethe-cities. In so doing, they generate new forms of art as knowledge production.
Taking its inspiration from Goethe’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the spell that precipitates an uncontrollable, life-threatening flood, Walle! walle* explores interactions between the temporalities of human and natural history against the backdrop of current global challenges: What power does art have in times of existential threat, which can be felt worldwide in our present age? What power does it have in light of the destruction of nature and its dramatic consequences, amidst social and political crises, in the crumbling of presumed certainties through the acknowledgement of racism, colonialism or gender hierarchies?

Danica Dakić‘s new work is a filmic narrative about a (utopian) journey to Italy that unfolds between Goethe’s emptied library in his Weimar home and a volcano-picture backdrop from his son August’s puppet theater, between two children as protagonists in Weimar and Rome, between past and future.

Starting from Goethe’s garden, where asparagus was grown, Arijit Bhattacharyya examines its origins in colonialism and the conditions of production of the vegetable, still popular in Germany today. Diana Pacelli has made her own journey from Weimar towards Italy. In her performance she walks from Buchenwald to Fossoli, that is, from a camp in Germany to a camp in northern Italy, both from the Nazi period. With reference to the West-Eastern Diwan, Farzane Vaziritabar transposes the bust of Juno Ludovisi, which stands as a copy in Weimar and Rome, to Iran. Lea Maria Wittich adds a fictional part to Goethe’s geological collection, linking Goethe’s trip to Italy with the power of geology.

*from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by J.W. von Goethe. Meaning of wallen: 1) in relation to liquids: to move violently 2) over cloth, hair, lifted: to hang down billowing in waves and billows; origin of term: Middle High German wallen, Old High German wallan (attested since around the year 800) < Germanic *wallan < Indo-European root *u̯el(ə)-, *u̯lē- “to turn, wind, roll”.


Participating artists:

Danica Dakić, *1962 in Sarajevo, Rome Prize Winner of the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo 2022/23, is a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She works with photography, video and film – often also with performative and participatory processes – and creates images that question cultural memory and identity, language and role models, as well as history in its constant change and utopian potentials.

Arijit Bhattacharyya, *1994 in West Bengal, India, is an artist and independent curator currently living and working in Weimar, Germany. His works are installations, textile works, drawing and painting, film, performance, mainly cooking. He also works collectively and often involves different local communities from his social environment in Germany and his native India.

Diana Pacelli, *1994 in Naples, completed her artistic training in Germany, where she has lived for more than 10 years. In her installations and performances she deals with human beings and their actions as reflections on society.

Farzane Vaziritabar, *1987 in Yazd, Iran, is currently a visiting artist at ZKM – Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (Germany). Her work includes sculpture, installation, video, performance, cartoons and drawings, with a focus on narrative, identity, place and space.

Lea Maria Wittich, *1994 in Hannover (Germany), is a Weimar-based artist and artistic researcher. Her practice is rooted in craft and material processes, which she understands as performative and relational practices. In her artistic work, she uses various media to reflect on issues of social and environmental justice and the coexistence of human and non-human actors.


Contemporary Art in Goethe’s Residence

Klassik Stiftung Weimar from 2 June – 1 November 2023

Museum Casa di Goethe Rome from 8 June – 10 September 2023


Image: Danica Dakić LA CASA I, Video still, ©Danica Dakić 2023