Simulation 5-channel installation
Thing Place Herchen
Thing Place Jülich

Thingstätten / Thing Places

2019

Multi-channel video installation
Simulation for 5 different sized projections or monitors
Length approx. 2 min.
Drone camera: Felix Gemein
Funded by
Foundation Künstlerdorf Schöppingen,
Kultursekretariat NRW Gütersloh, project Stadtbesetzung/Erkundungen (city occupation/explorations),
Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

About 55 films from 55 Thing Places in Germany are planned.

Throughout the 1930s, Thing Places were set up all over Germany, theater-like meeting places built by the Nazi regime to spread its ideology. They were to serve theatrical performances with a history-distorting recourse to old Germanic traditions. These Thingspiele should allow an emotional emergence of the individual in home and national community. That’s why scenic impressive spaces were chosen as Thing Place: atmospheric places surrounded by forests, lakes, hills, natural rocks, ruins or other traces of local history.

In Germanic times a thing was the people and court assembly. It handled the legal matters and always took place in the open air. The Nazis abused the idea of thing-gathering places for staging of the Hitler cult.

From 1933 to 1939 up to 400 Thing Places were planned or started. Completed were about 60 outdoor stages. Many are still used for concerts and theater performances.

This project is to document all former Thing Places in Germany. Here you can see the Thing Places in Herchen, Jülich, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Porta Westfalica und Wattenscheid.

The cinematic approach to these places happens from the air. With a camera drone a ride is started vertically above the Thing Place, you see the whole environment, the camera slowly approaches, it turns around its own axis until the place fills the picture. The spiraling image creates a pull. It is a pictorial expression for the seduction and agitation of the people by the national socialism.