The Burnt Letters of Victoria

Tanya V. Abelson, Philipp Gufler, Jordan/Martin Hell, François Pisapia & Pauli Scharlach

AUG 28 – SEP 18, 2022

Sat Aug 27, 2022, 7pm

Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim
Hauptstraße 37
49828 Neuenhaus

Victoria’s letters have themselves attained the status of myth: a whispered anecdote of their vanished promise – how Victoria wrote of her life, her ideas, doubts, and the search for her true self. Today, we can only speculate about the desires, secrets, and rebellion that she captured on paper: their anticipation, longing, and marked independence rendered permanent for only a fleeting moment.

History names Victoria zu Bentheim (1887 – 1961) as one Germany’s first female architects. Her efforts to rescue Jewish people during National Socialism are well documented. But the records of Victoria's desires – a desire that went beyond heterosexual norms – are missing. Victoria's letters, amongst them love letters to and from women, were burned. We will never know what was written – transcribed, confessed, witnessed – in their pages. Her letters persist as legend, destroyed relics of an age of vast social, cultural, and political upheaval.

Curated by Paula Kommoss and Muriel Meyer

Exhibition programme:

Sat 27 August 2022, 7pm

Reading Jordan/Martin Hell

Slideshow and reading François Pisapia

Sun 28 August 2022, 12pm
Curators’ tour with Paula Kommoss and Muriel Meyer

Tues 6 September 2022, 7.30pm
Tour of the exhibition with Meike Behm, Director of the Kunsthalle Lingen