Based on the notion of post-memory, the Bellotograph project tries to explore the visual universe that arises when thinking of the end of World War II. With this in mind, the project focuses on commemoration and remembrance and not on the war itself. As you can see in the section "The Happening", the Happening “Germany surrenders” challenged existing practices of commemoration and, in this way, might be seen as representative of how the Bellotograph project can be realized.
The project will be approaching the issue of commemoration in whichever artistic, documentary, historical or any other format they feel most appropriate. The tension between the arsenal of commemoration practices and visual imagery in Britain and Germany presents a disruptive element – throughout the timescale of the project as a whole, as well as during the exhibition of the Bellotograph. The Bellotograph itself will display the ‘artefacts’ produced or found during the process of the project, but at the same time the Bellotograph is not a completed artefact but rather an artistic device.
The Bellotograph looks for a spectators who will activate and complete the artistic experience. The Bellotograph aims, so to speak, to create a social sculpture based on the works of Joseph Beuys and Christoph Schlingensief. At the same time, the Bellotograph is based on a social sculpture, namely the post-memories of war experience in our commemoration rituals and visual culture.
Being an intercultural and intergenerational project, the Bellotograph hopes to find participants of different ages with diverse backgrounds, who are based in Sheffield. Since the project is not a scientific study there is no need for a representative cohort, we simply seek engaged and committed participants willing to meet as a group and share their ideas and thoughts and to work on contributions for the final exhibition.
We will approach students of Germanic Studies, History and English, members of the University of the Third Age, Veteran groups and local Sheffield groups of artists and other Sheffield locals.
The exhibition – planned for late 2016 – will run parallel to the traveling exhibition ‘Germany’s Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context’. Both exhibitions will attract different audiences but could direct their audience to each other’s exhibitions. Of course, the exhibitions will not complement each other and we hope that they will be thought provoking in their contradictions.
If you are interested in participating please contact: