Mädchen in Uniform

Two film adaptations of „Mädchen in Uniform“ from 1958 and 1931, both based on Christa Winsloe’s 1931 stage play „Yesterday and Today“, are the starting point for a multi-part spatial installation in which Christine Niehoff extracts individual quotes, image excerpts and film sequences, interweaves and condenses them in many layers and stages them as a comprehensive stage of visual and auditory perception. Drill, discipline and obedience determine the daily routine of the girls at boarding school, where they also find support in the group. Individuality and humanity are suppressed in this rigid educational system. The sense of duty and other Prussian virtues are repeatedly appealed to with sometimes casual, sometimes obvious reminders. Leaning on her cane, the matron in the early version is reminiscent of Old Fritz, while the tone of the post-war version echoes Hitler’s voice. Part of the 1931 version was filmed in the Potsdam military orphanage, which, founded by Frederick William I, made a name for itself with its torturous confinement, lack of food and child labor and underwent its first reforms under Frederick the Great. With her choice of intensive insights, images and consequences, condensed through painting and text quotations, Christine Niehoff seeks to approach the historical structures and associated systems in an analytical and comparative way – and thus also poses questions about the rules of today’s generations.

Ortspezifische Installation