Museum Folkwang
Fragmento Brasil / Vom Ursprung der Tischsitten
  • Lothar Baumgarten
  • Fragmento Brasil / Vom Ursprung der Tischsitten, 1971 / 2005

  • Fragment of Brasil / On the Origins of Table Manners
  • Set table and slide projection with 648 slides – 3 projection pairs with 162 motifs each plus two further individual projections with 81 slides each. Table, tablecloth, cloth serviettes, plates, glasses, porcupine bristle brushes, bird feathers, projectors, slides
  • Objektmaß variable measures
  • Inv. P 313
  • CommentaryLothar Baumgarten works like an ethnologist, tracking down the foreign, and like a cognitive science researcher in his estranging the known in order to expose it. Baumgarten looks at how cultures can meet without robbing them of their respective identities.
    ›On the origins of table manners‹ is built around a table with a white damask tablecloth. Added to the cutlery, porcelain plates and cloth serviettes on it are porcupine bristle brushes and bird feathers.
    The table and shared meals are meeting places for social groups where they practice, pass on and display their proper rules. Table manners and cooking techniques are distinctive characteristics; they form social and cultural differences. In putting porcupine bristle brushes and bird feathers next to the plates instead of the expected cutlery, Baumgarten he creates a vividness through their formal analogies which levels the dualisms of culture and nature, civilisation and wilderness, education and primitivism, liberating these categories for a new use in another way of thinking. There is a dialogue structure which asserts neither a ›right‹ nor ›wrong‹, neither & ›good‹ nor ›evil‹.
    The work includes a multi-part slide projection which projects paintings of Brazilian birds by the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout. Eckhout accompanied the later governor Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen on an expedition in South America which brought the prince great honors in Europe and the nickname »the Brazilian«. Eckhout’s paintings, carefully done and made with noticeable respect for the differences of what was for him unfamiliar fauna, were used after his return as models for allegorical illustrations and prestigious decoration. This served the glorifying of European claims to rule the world without grasping their origins and the natural science knowledge preserved in them.
    Next to reproductions of these paintings Baumgarten placed drawings of Yanomami Indians, a tribe on the Orinoco in the Gran Sabana (Venezuela/northern Brazil) which Baumgarten visited for a longer period in 1978-79. The drawings of the Yanomami are, for their part, pictorial records of an intercultural meeting. They were however produced in a manner quite different from those of Eckhout and Moritz 350 years before: Baumgarten gave members of the tribe his notebooks to draw and note in.
  • Obj_Id: 29,359
  • Obj_Internet_S: ja
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 231
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Museum Folkwang, Essen, Medienkunst
  • Obj_Title1_S: Fragmento Brasil / Vom Ursprung der Tischsitten
  • Obj_Title2_S: Fragment of Brasil / On the Origins of Table Manners
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): Fragmento Brasil / Vom Ursprung der Tischsitten Fragment of Brasil / On the Origins of Table Manners Fragmento Brasil / Vom Ursprung der Tischsitten
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1971 / 2005
  • Jahr von: 1,971
  • Jahr bis: 2,005
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: P 313
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: P 313
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Environment
  • Obj_Crate_S: Objektmaß variable measures
  • Obj_Material_S: Set table and slide projection with 648 slides – 3 projection pairs with 162 motifs each plus two further individual projections with 81 slides each. Table, tablecloth, cloth serviettes, plates, glasses, porcupine bristle brushes, bird feathers, projectors, slides
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Set table and slide projection with 648 slides – 3 projection pairs with 162 motifs each plus two further individual projections with 81 slides each. Table, tablecloth, cloth serviettes, plates, glasses, porcupine bristle brushes, bird feathers, projectors, slides
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb):
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort): Internal Exhibition: Sammlung 20. und 21. Jahrhundert, Neubau
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Commentary
Artists

Lothar Baumgarten works like an ethnologist, tracking down the foreign, and like a cognitive science researcher in his estranging the known in order to expose it. Baumgarten looks at how cultures can meet without robbing them of their respective identities.
›On the origins of table manners‹ is built around a table with a white damask tablecloth. Added to the cutlery, porcelain plates and cloth serviettes on it are porcupine bristle brushes and bird feathers.
The table and shared meals are meeting places for social groups where they practice, pass on and display their proper rules. Table manners and cooking techniques are distinctive characteristics; they form social and cultural differences. In putting porcupine bristle brushes and bird feathers next to the plates instead of the expected cutlery, Baumgarten he creates a vividness through their formal analogies which levels the dualisms of culture and nature, civilisation and wilderness, education and primitivism, liberating these categories for a new use in another way of thinking. There is a dialogue structure which asserts neither a ›right‹ nor ›wrong‹, neither & ›good‹ nor ›evil‹.
The work includes a multi-part slide projection which projects paintings of Brazilian birds by the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout. Eckhout accompanied the later governor Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen on an expedition in South America which brought the prince great honors in Europe and the nickname »the Brazilian«. Eckhout’s paintings, carefully done and made with noticeable respect for the differences of what was for him unfamiliar fauna, were used after his return as models for allegorical illustrations and prestigious decoration. This served the glorifying of European claims to rule the world without grasping their origins and the natural science knowledge preserved in them.
Next to reproductions of these paintings Baumgarten placed drawings of Yanomami Indians, a tribe on the Orinoco in the Gran Sabana (Venezuela/northern Brazil) which Baumgarten visited for a longer period in 1978-79. The drawings of the Yanomami are, for their part, pictorial records of an intercultural meeting. They were however produced in a manner quite different from those of Eckhout and Moritz 350 years before: Baumgarten gave members of the tribe his notebooks to draw and note in.