Night. Tail. Pieces

Cornelia Renz's Night. Tail. Pieces takes as its starting point the romantic novel Night Watches, published in 1805 under the pseudonym Bonaventura, and today attributed to the writer Ernst August Friedrich Klingemann. These Night Watches are a dark and savage book, whose torn and and strange storyline still today allows for another look at the dark side of man. The contents of the heterogeneous chapters that the narrator takes as a pretext for an ironic tour of his own presence, are a loose collage of popular romantic topoi (night, madness, theater, etc.), and Bonaventura's obscure 'night watchman' is debating modernity and authorship itself. The Night Watches are an instructive example for the preoccupation with horror that the Enlightenment had pushed back in its belief in goodness and nobility, but that became an important theme of Romanticism.

Renz refers to the Night Watches in formal terms—her felt-tip pen drawings correspond to Klingemannesque modes of narrative, collage-like assemblages from the most various visual worlds—and thematically as well, depicting the dark, non-public aspects of human behavior and providing a peek behind the bourgeois façade. She draws on reverse glass painting, on images of saints, on other 19th century imagery, as well as pornographic material, and creates powerful collages of historic charm and yet exciting, contemporary themes.

With texts by Jochen Bedenk, Heinz Stahlhut, Bonaventura (Ernst August Friedrich Klingemann) and Jean Paul; edited by Axel Lapp.