Mate in three moves


The starting point of the performance was the installation created by the artist YOOL entitled "The Leviathan", which was set up from September 2014 to January 2015 in the Erlangen City Museum on the occasion of the exhibition "14-18-14 Nothing New in the West !?".

The installation "The Leviathan"

While on the floor are six works with analogies to themes surrounding the 1914-18 war and 100 years later, a column rises in the center supporting four teetering business towers. Their facades are formed by metal nails.

The analogy here: In 1914 and 1915, the German people were called upon to buy nails and use them to create images. In Hamburg, for example, a four-meter-high nail painting of Hindenburg was created. The proceeds from the nail "business" were used by the state indirectly to finance the war. The people were asked to pay a second time (after taxes).

In 2008, the German people were again indirectly forced to help the state during the financial crisis, when the stumbling banks were saved from bankruptcy by guarantees from the state.

That is why YOOL has placed on the column the inscription:

OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE in contrast to the inscription on the Reichstag building , which there reads: TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE.

The performance took place during the finissage in January 2015.

It began with YOOL and his artist colleague Reiner F. Schulz cutting the pictures lying on the floor into 30 x 30 cm light and dark squares. During this irretrievable destruction, texts and messages from well-known daily newspapers and trade magazines were read out, which dealt with the arrogant machinations of bankers and hedge fund managers since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008

The light and dark image squares were then combined to form a chessboard, on which the dramatic nighttime events in the Chancellor's Office were re-enacted as a chess game in a short sequence. Josef Ackermann, then head of Deutsche Bank, gave Chancellor Angela Merkel the choice of either letting the failing banks go bankrupt - with unforeseeable but certainly dramatic consequences for the banking system - or rescuing them with a billion-euro state guarantee. The chancellor had no chance to win, she was checkmated, in three moves.

 After the performance, the artist left the chessboards to the audience as a gift.