Wölfe in Dresden vor der Frauenkirche eingefallen!
In Dresden the wolves are howling. In the place where the xenophobic movement PEGIDA otherwise stirs up hatred against refugees and the state, from 16 March 2016 there will be a huge pack of wolves. These wolves symbolise haters, firebombers, neo-Nazis, raging PEGIDA supporters, and AfD members who want to shoot at refugees.
This pack is an ensemble of 66 “wolf-people”, up to 2 metres tall and cast out of metal. It takes 5 large articulated trucks to transport the group.
The wolves are framed by 3-metre-long information boards, which are intended to provoke discussions about racism and violence. At the end there are blank boards, where the visitors can write down what we can do so that no one needs to hate any more. The distribution of a 40-page information brochure is also planned.
The wolves at the Frauenkirche have a threatening effect, and pose questions:
What will happen when the structures of order and solidarity break down, and xenophobia spreads like a virus? When moral and ethical rules cease to apply, and society is increasingly shaped by fear, violence and brutalisation? When blind nationalism takes hold? When the limitations of people’s own living conditions make them develop the attitude of rabbits in a hutch? If countries were to follow their inner brutalisation, arm themselves against the outside world, and take an ever more aggressive tone?
So, what happens when people become wolves? The exhibition “The wolves are back” is intended to show the answer, and act as a warning.
The figures were created by the pocket torch maker Rainer Opolka. Dresden is the opening act of a tour of the wolves through the capitals of all the German states, which it is hoped over 1 million people will see. With this spectacular project, the artist wants to encourage people to do more against xenophobia, hatred and violence, and to break the silence over the rise in right-wing extremism. “We have to talk to people,” he says, “because we cannot combat the rise in right-wing extremism by all just staring at Berlin.”
Rainer Opolka has resolved to have thousands of discussions. He will be present almost continuously during the exhibitions.