On a single night, three terrorists in a high-security prison die, allegedly by their own hands; a fourth is hospitalized with allegedly self-inflicted stab wounds to the chest. Ever since, the events of the “Death Night” of the members of the Baader-Meinhof group have reverberated through German society and culture.
But what might those events mean to artists in another country gripped by fear of radical terrorists, albeit a generation removed and an ocean away? How might today’s artists respond to iconic pieces that addressed the events in their immediate aftermath?
Those are the questions that guided Brooklyn artist Birgit Rathsmann as she worked with 19 other artists from the U.S. and Europe to develop October 18, 1977. The exhibition is a meditation on that infamous, as well as on the images that earlier artists created in response to the events of that night.
At Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, 524 West 19th St, New York, NY 10011.
Video: Gerhard Richter’s cycle "October 18, 1977" consists of 15 paintings and was created between March and November 1988. The paintings are the result of his fascination with terrorist group the Red Army Faction (RAF).