Wiesbaden Biennale 2018

Photo: Simon Hegenberg
Hinterland – the word means an area beyond a city, in the USA they call it fly-over country, and it’s also a promise: fewer rules, less security, more freedom – a wasteland. The survival of the fittest applies there, anyone not strong enough is forced out.

It’s inhospitable, dirty and untidy. There’s plenty of space though. Utopias are constructed and then abandoned. Moral certainties and laws exist somewhere far away. It could be the seeds of the coming revolution or a breeding ground for violence and crime. Want to know what it’s really like?

Hinterland isn’t just a geographical location anymore, it’s the flipside of political correctness. It’s the pent-up anger about apparently unchangeable circumstances, which are experienced as unjust and oppressive. When the inner cities become wastelands and rising rents force residents to the outskirts, then Hinterland is the experience of powerlessness, the resignation that nothing can be done about one’s everyday situation. Do political representatives even decide what happens anymore or is it just multi-national investment funds with letterboxes in tax havens?

What would it be like to occupy the Hinterland? To just appropriate it. A new start in the middle of the dirt of the unknown. Would we be able to take it, facing our own fear? Do we have the courage to look the shot, angry animal of fallen pride in the eyes? What if it’s really the end of an old era and the West’s time is up as the good, great example for everyone? Will the sins of the past yet crawl out of their holes to challenge us? What price will they ask us to pay? Welcome to Hinterland! The future began long ago!