Trümmerfraukrug West I, 2022

Kasia Fudakowski, Trümmerfraukrug West I, 2022; Glazed ceramic; 30 × 18.5 × 14 cm

As a part of the project Restless Monuments curated by Bettina Klein, Kasia Fudakowski focused on Katharina Szelinski-Singer’s Trümmerfrau-Denkmal (1955) in Volkspark Hasenheide. Comparing this public monument to the so called ‘Rubble women’ with Fritz Cremer’s Aufbauhelferin in front of the Rotes Rathaus, the resulting body of work highlights the discrepancies between the mythologies embodied in these two sculptures. The works title refers directly to the trümmerfrauen of Berlin, the name for women who helped clear the rubble of bombed cities in Germany in the aftermath of World War II.

Six ceramic jugs created by Fudakowski with assistance from ceramicist Cordula Falk, explore historian Dr. Leonie Treber’s proposition of the Trümmerfrau figure as a vessel, continually filled and emptied with different, conflicting political ideologies. The triumphant, strong and aspirational gestures of the vases labeled ‘East’ contrast with the more languid, poses of the ‘West’. The work is equally influenced by the varied history-of-use of traditional stoneware jugs known as both Bartmannskrug and Bellarmine jugs, whose uses varied from containing food, drink and mercury for European colonists, status symbols for mining families, symbols of protest against Cardinal Bellarmine’s anti reformation and anti-alcohol stance as well as their use as witch potion bottles during the 17th century.

The presentation which took place on the 1st of July 2022 involved various drinks related to these entwined histories being mixed with an aural history told through the jugs, pictures and readings.