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Christian Jankowski


December 2010
Potsdamer Str. 97, 10785 Berlin

The group of photographs Staatsgeschenke (2010) comprises a selection of official international state presents given to the German chancellor during the last 60 years. Each image shows a gift which now, if its value exceeded 120 EUR, has become the property of the Federal Republic of Germany. These objects are now stored in showcases and a storage room in the chancellor’s office.

State presents are encoded political-cultural messages revealing the quality of the relations between states and their representatives. A multitude of considerations are finally manifested in a highly symbolical sculptural object. The series of photographs, take en passant by Jankowski himself picture the selection of the proper gift as a creative act.

The work Christmas Decoration (2010) is made from strings of fairy lights. The four separately blinking segments show the letters “DM” (Deutsche Mark, the German currency before the introduction of the Euro). The installation was created in the nineties for public spaces in pre Christmas Hamburg. The commentary on Christmas commercialism remains timeless although the currency has changed.

The short film Das Geschenk (2010) is about a present package deposited by Father Christmas on a public Christmas market. The reaction of the public stimulated by the abandoned object documents the conduct of a profoundly insecure society. The traditional perception of Christmas triggers at the same time the fear of a potential Trojan Horse. The actual episode is documented by a hidden camera.

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