Artwork

Günther Förg
Cumae III, 1986

  • b/w photography, unique object
  • 265 x 118 cm
  • Acquired in 2003

Günther Förg’s photography has built up since the 1980s. In the 1990s he pursued extensive series on Bauhaus architecture, in cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Moscow and Ankara. He selects a limited number out of many photographs and publishes them as valid ‘archive’. The size of the prints varies – as in the case of our Cumae photograph – and they exist only as unique objects. The large black-and-white photograph Cumae III is extraordinary; modelled on a historical photograph of ancient Cumae near Naples. Cumae, the earliest and most important, most northerly Greek settlement in Italy, has been the residence of a Sibyl─an ancient female figure, who usually prophesied disaster in her ecstasy. The photograph shows the passage to the grotto, from which Aeneas went into the underworld. In Virgil’s Aeneid, Book VI, 42-51, we read of Aeneas’s encounter with her: “Cumae’s rock is hollowed out into a gigantic grotto; a hundred broad shafts lead downwards, with a hundred mouths, the Sibyl’s sayings resound with a hundred tones.”

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