Franz Wanner rejects any description of his work as investigative. Although his process frequently yields astounding information, he is a careful observer who inquires into things rather than unmask or expose them. A characteristic feature of his working method is a predilection for sources that are publicly accessible. He neither needs nor wishes to make use of privileged information.
His observations over the past seven years have been directed toward the German armaments industry and its exports, the European Union’s policies on migration and asylum, and the relationship of German National Socialism to the ahistorical imperative of prosperity that succeeded it.
Wanner is not seeking to unearth dark secrets from the depths of an archive and bring them to light, nor does he aim to set the records straight by means of meticulous documentary work. His greater concern is to question how many patently dark facts we collectively endeavor to disregard today.
The artist does not see collective national trauma as a necessary prerequisite for this suppression, but attributes it to an acquired civic pragmatism in a state that was transformed into a wunderkind of economic liberalism divested of all ideologies after reinventing itself from the ruins of a war it had itself brought about. With dry to black humor, the artist creates images of a “collective cognitive dissonance” and develops analytical poems about the pathology of choosing to overlook things within the present-day German moment and its idioms.
Curator of Contemporary Art at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbach-haus und Kunstbau München, Munich
Franz Wanner (born in Bad Tölz, Germany, in 1975) has worked under the pseudonym Franz Wanner since 2000. His most recent works were shown at the Goethe-Institut Paris as part of the festival "Rencontres Internationales Paris / Berlin" in 2020, and in Russia at the Museum of Moscow in the exhibition "18 +/- Voluntary Self-Control in 2018. In 2019, the publication "Foes at the Edge of the Frame" (Distanz, Berlin 2020) was created during the index Freiraum Artist Residency in Zurich, Switzerland. View all posts by Franz Wanner