Die Illegalen

The Illegals

A research project around artist-members of the anti-fascist resistance network Rote Kapelle (Red Orchestra), active in Berlin between 1937 and 1942.

The research-video documents a search for the scattered and forgotten sculptural works of Oda Schottmüller (dancer and sculptor) and Kurt Schumacher (sculptor), both of whom were tried and executed by the Nazi-regime for their participation in the group around Harro Schulze-Boysen, known as Rote Kapelle (Red Orchestra), a wide network of mostly Berlin-based anti-fascists.

Kurt Schumachers sculptures were mostly destroyed by the Gestapo when he, his wife and his friends were arrested in 1942. Oda Schottmüllers expressionist dances have been captured as photographs, but most of her sculptural work is lost.

The video assembles archival and literary accounts on the lifes and works of these artists.

During the research I have visited the depots of the National Gallery and private homes, where the few remaining works by both artists are being held, hardly ever accessible for public view.
The video also shows the places were both artists had their studios–recalling their lives and works that seemingly left no trace in the present.


Video, 42min, HD, 2016. German language



Installation: drawings, research documents and books, reprinted painting by Carl Baumann: ‘Rote Kapelle Berlin’, 1942

Installation view, District Berlin, Undisciplinary Learning, 2016