Zum Beispiel Balthasar, 6 Jahre

  • 1996
  • Rosemarie Trockel
  • Video, color, sound
  • 9 min. 15 s.

Through the moving portrait of a child, Balthasar, the video For Example Balthasar, 6 Years Old (Zum Beispiel Balthasar, 6 Jahr) (1995) evokes the darkest chapter in German history. Hand in hand with a little girl and accompanied by two small dogs, Balthasar walks along a sunny country road. Their clothes and accessories—a wide-brimmed black hat and a small suitcase— suggest a long journey. Along the way, the two children stop to wipe each other‘s tears. They see a bird holding a prey in its talons—a sad omen of an inevitable tragedy. The film continues inside a church where Balthasar swings on a bell rope, pushed by the little girl, laughing. The bell tolls slowly and solemly as the scene jumps to a gymnasium: through laughter and play, the two children relive a happy memory, one of lost normality. The film stops on the image of a revolving merry-go-round that, seen from Balthasar’s perspective below, looking up, evokes the possibility of flight. While the sepia tint gives a retro effect, the use of slow motion—a frequent stylistic choice in Trockel‘s videos—and silence create suspense. Music by composer Christoph John, commissioned by the artist, intensifies the dramatic atmosphere. 

© Adagp, Paris, 2020 © Adagp, Paris, 2020 © Adagp, Paris, 2020


Rosemarie Trockel

A multidisciplinary artist, Rosemarie Trockel uses sculpture, video, collage, drawing, photography, and installation. Her favorite themes include identity and memory, the domestic as well as the public sphere, advertising aesthetics, and the commodification of art.

Between 1985 and 1989, she actively contributed to the magazine Eau de Cologne, published by her gallerist Monika Sprüth, along with other female artists of her generation, such as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Cindy Sherman. 

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