Sophie von Hellermann | Schloss Freienwalde
To mark the centenary of the assassination of Walther Rathenau – to date Germany’s only Jewish Foreign Minister – Sophie von Hellermann has been commissioned to create a site-specific artwork at Schloss Freienwalde, the museum dedicated to his life.
In 1909 the Weimar statesman and aesthete Rathenau acquired and restored the Prussian royal palace at Bad Freienwalde outside of Berlin. Rathenau’s assassination by far-right extremists in 1922 renders him a martyred icon of German democracy. At the time of his murder he had been Foreign Minister for only three months.
To mark 100 years since Rathenau's assassination, urKultur together with Oxford University’s Jewish Country Houses Project has commissioned a new site-specific artwork in the Schloss by Sophie von Hellermann. Using her characteristic loose and lively brush strokes, von Hellermann has painted directly onto the walls, reviving the castle's lost spirit. Starting from photographs of the castle's interior taken during Rathenau's lifetime, von Hellermann’s unique intervention hints towards both the life once lived there and a possible future.
Installation views: Sophie von Hellermann at Schloss Freienwalde, 2022. Photography: Matthias Kolb. Courtesy the artist and Wentrup, Berlin