In a historic tram station in the now defunct electricity plant E-Werk in Weimar, visitors can view the room installation “Concert for Buchenwald” by artist Rebecca Horn. Installed in 1999, the internationally renowned work is widely regarded as one of the most poignant works of contemporary art on the Holocaust in Germany.

The installation

Old, used musical instruments and their accompanying leather cases are piled atop a section of railway tracks. It is a silent concert for Buchenwald; each violin, mandolin and guitar symbolises a personal fate. But the music and the singing, the people, are missing. The installation was specially created for the 150-square-metre windowless room inside the former tram station. The work is thus inextricably tied to this place, as Buchenwald is to the city of Weimar.

Weimar’s former streetcar depot, now the venue of Rebecca Horn’s installation
Weimar’s former streetcar depot, now the venue of Rebecca Horn’s installation
Rebecca Horn: Concert for Buchenwald
Rebecca Horn: Concert for Buchenwald, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

The installation was developed in connection with Weimar’s nomination as the European Capital of Culture in 1999. In 2002 it was purchased for the Klassik Stiftung Weimar with generous support by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband with the Sparkassen-Kulturfond, as well as the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen, the Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, the SV Sparkassen-Versicherung and the Sparkasse Mittelthüringen. The installation was designated a part of the Quarter of Weimar Modernism in 2019.

The artist

Rebecca Horn was born in Odenwald in 1944 and studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (HfBK) and St. Martin’s School of Art in London. She has taught at the Berlin University of the Arts since 1989 and lives in Berlin and Paris. In her multiple award-winning works, Rebecca Horn combines a wide array of artistic disciplines, e.g. performances, installations, kinetic objects, poetry, film and drawings.

Projects of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Free State of Thuringia, represented by the State Chancellery of Thuringia, Department of Culture and the Arts.

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