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From the terribly ugly to the almost beautiful. Shouldn’t art always be beautiful, lift up the soul and lift up the spirit? The old aesthetic demands are being overtaken by the Hollywood film industry. The good is always beautiful there – and what is ugly is also bad. This modern, simplistic dichotomy has never quite lived up to reality.
And so it happens that crumbled pictures are not simply beautiful. They reflect our inner and outer worlds. Human torsos, mutilations and grimacing masks, the cross in the slaughterhouse, the barbed wire of the concentration camp fences address the “bad identity” not only of the town of Flossenbürg. How could this reflection be banalisingly pretty, and thus at the same time meaningless. The whole of reality would be played down, falsified and glossed over. Hans-Jürgen Bröckl’s pictures are far too close to the truth. In view of our human reality and its diverse possibilities for distortion, a concentration camp memorial constantly in the immediate vicinity and therefore in view, the artist also confronts the viewer of his pictures with a reality shared by us all in a similar way.

Wolfgang Rösch