Participatory lecture performance (2022)

Participants were guided around and along the sculpture Ein Weg Durch das Moor (A Path through the Bog), created by Fischli & Weiss in 1999. The piece was commissioned by the Städtische Galerie Nordhorn as part of the Summer programme on Art and Collective Memory.

Although it looks idyllic today, the site is located in the immediate vicinity of the former Nazi prison camp Bathorn, where prisoners were forced to dig peat under brutal conditions as part of a vast “internal colonisation” project.

The walk is a deep dive into the history of the European bogs, 90 per cent of which have been destroyed by colonial and agricultural projects aimed at commodifying what was long regarded as wasteland. It is an invitation to reflect with the peat on a landscape that, as the Irish poet Seamus Heaney said, “remembers everything that has happened in it and to it”. It is an intimate encounter with the creators of the bogs, the peat mosses, which tell a different story – of restraint and healing  – that goes back 450 million years. The walk ends with a deposition ritual and the drinking of Moorwasser.