Diogenes is a monumental (450 x 600 cm) semi-transparent jacquard woven tapestry that includes monofil and phosphorescent yarns.
Diogenes was created thanks to the invitation of Machinery of Me, a space for contemporary art in Arnhem (NL). Aëgerter became fascinated by the local history and particularly the situation of the many young German women who worked in the nearby ‘Diogenes’ bunker during the Second World War. She researched a large amount of local archive footage about the life and work of the so-called ‘Blitzmädel’, due to the icon of a lightening on their uniforms.
In the dark bunker these young women worked day and night to hunt down allied planes and bombers. In the middle of the bunker was hanging a huge transparent map defining the operational area with country contours and a grid with letter codes. The young ‘Blitzmädchen’ indicated the position of the enemy planes from a grandstand by shining spotlights on the transparent map. On the other side of the map the officers could make strategic decisions and organise the 24/7 hunt for the Allied aircraft.
This extraordinary historical setting gave rise to the monumental, semi-transparent tapestry Diogenes. One experiences how the exploded metallic carcass of a twisted stand and the superimposed grid with numbers and letter codes reacts in layers to different lightings. During a short interval a ballet of searching spotlights extinguishes to finally blend into a hypnotic starry sky.
During the Second World War the Germans used code names based on the first letter of a place. The bunker at Deelen (NL) was given the code name Diogenes. Was this choice entirely coincidental? Diogenes is the Greek philosopher who, in broad daylight, walked through the streets of Athens with a lantern in his hand, shouting out in front of him: ‘I am looking for a human being’.