In this virtual evening event, German-American artist Barbara Diener will virtually discuss her exhibition The Rocket's Red Glare, on display in the DANK Haus gallery through October 23. The Rocket’s Red Glare traces the history of instrumental rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, whose story embodies Diener’s ongoing interest in the complicated German heritage surrounding WWII. Diener will be joined by historian Dr. Robert Hogg, professor of European history at Columbia College Chicago, who will provide historical context relating to the Third Reich and Holocaust. The event will be held on Zoom, a free video conference platform. You will receive a confirmation email, and later, a second email with the private Zoom link.
About the exhibition:
Raised in Cologne, Germany, and now based in Chicago, Diener explores the complicated legacy of Wernher von Braun, a German rocket scientist who developed the V2 rocket for the Nazis and was brought to the United States after the war under the controversial Operation Paperclip, a government initiative to secure and extract German scientists.
Diener’s photographs follow von Braun’s life in Huntsville, Alabama, where he developed the Saturn V, the rocket used to travel to the moon. This body of work was informed by several visits to the Wernher von Braun Archive at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, where Diener photographed von Braun’s personal ephemera and scanned historical photographs.
The exhibition features large-scale adhesive vinyl photographs, smaller framed works, and three-dimensional installations.
Rather than presenting a complete view of this complex part of German-American history—classified for decades—The Rocket’s Red Glare poses questions. How has Werner von Braun’s history been passed on through generations? How are facts distorted, embellished, and undermined? Viewers are invited to draw their own connections.