AMSTERDAM, Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In memory of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, 77 years ago on 27 January, the Amsterdam artist Ben Mechanicus (4 May 1963) created a contemporary work of art. By using toy figures from Playmobil in an animation video, he wants to show younger generations what happened there during the war, without making the images too gruesome.
“All photos and videos from that period are black and white or grainy. The current generation with its smartphones and video culture does not relate to that. With this animation I wanted to create something visual and impressive for all ages,” says Ben Mechanicus. “I show the whole mechanical process of the extermination of a race, as it was. There is no such thing for young people yet.”
The short animated video silently portrays the unspeakable story of the victims, who were systematically murdered by the Nazis. From arriving by train, leaving luggage, cutting their hair and undressing them. Then the locking in the gas chamber, the gassing, the removal and burning of the bodies and even the extraction of their gold teeth. Despite the toy figures, the violence, the executions by firing squad and gallows still look terrifying.
Mechanicus has offered his work to the Rijksmuseum. Although the museum does not collect contemporary art, 20th century curator Harm Stevens was nevertheless impressed. He calls History Art ‘a gruesome experience’.
According to Mechanicus, an artist has an important, expressive role from a social point of view. “All my ideas, all my social visions of this time, I convert into works of art, causing an interaction around the core of the work,” he says.
In an earlier artwork such as ‘The nine of why’ he shamed violence, war, anger and hatred, in his work ‘The right to exist’ anonymous sperm donors. “An insane act,” he says. “How can you withhold half of someone’s existence, past and present?”
The Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. Of the 1.3 million people deported there, about 1.1 million died. The liberation is commemorated all over the world. Mechanicus’ animation video History Art is available for free at https://we.tl/t-ab72exUSKO.
SOURCE History Art