Diogenes is a monumental (450 x 600 cm) semi-transparent jacquard woven tapestry that includes monofil and phosphorescent yarns.
“The man is a wolf to man”. A tragic cyclus in the history of civilisations, up to our days.
Organised destruction, manhunt using rationalised observation, will to posses, to control and the resulting chaos is what Diogenes represents.
The history of the ‘Diogenes’ bunker in Arnhem (NL) and the many young German women who worked in it during the Second World War is at the starting point of this work. Aëgerter researched a large amount of local archive footage about the bunker and the life and work of the so-called ‘Blitzmädel’.
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 the bunker’s 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’.
Diogenes was created thanks to the invitation of Machinery of Me, a space for contemporary art in Arnhem (NL).