Sven Johne/ Sebastian Orlac, Weiße Gewalt / White Storm (Source Material), 2020

04. Fleisch und Wurst

„Meat and sausages for the enclosed population of Rügen.
There’s never been anything like it. By noon, 700 pigs had already been slaughtered. Department manager Heins Lauden is pleased. „But we won’t go home until we reach 1,000.“ The meat is wrapped in foil and immediately flown by helicopter to the enclosed villages on the island of Rügen. His colleague Eva Steffenhagen from the sausage processing adds, „We are 21 women here in this department. The oldest is 76. The youngest 16 years old. But without exception, everyone is willing to do their best.“ And Comrade Lauren added, „The supply of the population is fully secured. We are all staying at work longer these days, even though you can feel the many slaughters at night in your bones.““

This week, Sven Johne presents six videos as a sneak peek into his new work in progress: a work about the snow catastrophe on the island of Rügen which happened in the winter of 1978/1979.

These films are not works of art, but only a filmed collection of the material for a photo-text work I’m currently developing with Sebastian Orlac. The work is about the snow catastrophe on the island of Rügen in 1978/79 — the place where I was living then — and the reflection of this state of emergency today. A contemporary witness tells a child about the crisis and he talks about the “heroism“ of his generation. The core of this work is about „masculinity“ and „defensiveness“ — or rather the tradition of these constructed and questionable self-attributions… The six small videos, however, only show the source materials for the work: a lot of photos from the press published in 1978/79 and the newspaper articles read by the children. It is interesting that we talk about a snow catastrophe in times of global warming. My son at the age of nine has seen the snow only once in Berlin.” — Sven. Johne