GUTHABEN (Theresienstadt)
These works reconstruct pieces of monetary ephemera that were issued for use in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia during Nazi occupation in 1943. The bankbook (Ghost Account) was just one example of paperwork contrived for a “camp economy” that testified to the regular payment of wages into an inmate’s fake bank account. Special banknotes printed in Berlin were issued by the Nazi administration to create a fantasy of consumerist activity — a kind of humiliation that reduced the signs of prosperity to imitative forms. Beginning with the process of “Schleusen” (‘funnel’), new arrivals were divested of all personal possessions and then obliged to purchase back their own refuse from camp ‘shops’ using the ghetto’s bogus ‘money’.
The works titled Ephemera are graphic reconstructions made from printed artefacts originally part of the Theresienstadt ghetto ‘ghost’ economy. They have been scanned from items such canteen tokens and concert tickets that belong to the collection of Wolfgang Haney.
Guthaben: Ghost Account (2009)
Guthaben: Ephemera (2009). Archival inkjet prints on cotton rag paper. Each aprox. 40 x 40cm.