September 1 – November 12, 2017
FORUM 043: Sebastian Jung – Winzerla

The Münchner Stadtmuseum’s FORUM 043 contemporary photography exhibition features “Winzerla – Art as a Search for Clues in the Shadow of the NSU” by Sebastian Jung. Winzerla is the high-density housing development in Jena that was originally home to Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe, members of the right-wing terrorist organization known as the NSU (National Socialist Underground).

Artist Sebastian Jung also spent the first ten years of his life in this new housing estate in Thuringia where construction work began under the East German regime to be completed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He was still a young boy during the 1990s, when Mundlos, Bönhardt and Zschäpe started to become radicalized. Jung takes this shared background as the starting point for his artistic reflection on the Winzerla he had known as a child.

Sebastian Jung began his quest for clues about the Winzerla of his childhood in August 2012, just over six months after members of the NSU were uncovered as the perpetrators of a series of right-wing extremist murders of Munich citizens from immigrant backgrounds. He added to his early photographs a collection of drawings made on return visits to the estate over the course of the following year. His aim was to explore times that now only exist in his memory, and to give creative expression to these childhood recollections. The images are supplemented with short texts featuring anecdotes drawn mainly from his schooldays. These, along with the photographs and drawings, create a staccato aesthetic of moments in time that seeks to capture the open-mindedness and hazy memories of a child.

Sebastian Jung, from the „Winzerla“ series, 2015, photograph © Sebastian Jung
Sebastian Jung, from the „Winzerla“ series, 2015, drawing © Sebastian Jung
Sebastian Jung, NSU trial (Carsten S.), 2015, drawing © Sebastian Jung
Sebastian Jung, from the „Winzerla“ series, 2015, photograph © Sebastian Jung

From this past, Jung fast-forwarded to the political events of the present day and attended the NSU trial at the Higher Regional Court in Munich for one day in the fall of 2014. Once again, he created drawings in response to the proceedings. The moments he captures carry dense and complex impressions. He does not simply depict the protagonists of the trial, but records individual incidents such as occasions when a court official keeps nodding off. This reveals the artist’s powers of observation and his love of detail and at the same time offers some uncomfortable insights into the sheer banality of the trial. The interplay between these images and the earlier photographs, drawings and descriptions reveals an emotional universe poised, as it were, between carefreeness and trepidation.

Biography

Sebastian Jung was born in Jena in 1987. He graduated in art and design from Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2013. Jung has been involved in numerous individual and group exhibitions. “Winzerla” has already been shown at the Jenaer Kunstverein and the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst Berlin. It was published in book form by Kerber Verlag in 2015 and part of the series has been acquired by the Municipal Art Collection in Jena. Sebastian Jung has since completed a number of other art projects. He returned to the subject of the NSU in his most recent theater project, UweUwe.de, produced in conjunction with the Theaterhaus Jena and Spiegel Online. He lives and works in Jena.