A country’s flag has the ability to invoke a disparate set of sentiments: from pride to nostalgia, nationalism to racism among others. Whether being hoisted up a pole, adorning the clothes and faces of sports enthusiasts or being set alight by racial extremists, a nation’s flag is a powerful, yet polarizing symbol.
The ongoing project Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold (Color Values – BlackRedGold) is concerned with questions surrounding German identity and its respective forms of public display. Therefore international designers and artists are given the task of incorporating the German flag into their artwork, using this public object as a medium to illustrate a personal story or point of view. In addition Robert Eysoldt and photographer Frank Roesner contribute large format portraits of people from various areas of the society.
Robert Eysoldt: „The project „Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold“ reflects skepticism and enthusiasm and the resulting variety of standpoints and opinions. The diversity of the objects, images and the respective texts cause a creative impulse necessary for reflection and discourse.“
Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold Exhibition in Berlin
On October 1st, 2009 the first Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold exhibition successfully held its grand opening in Berlin. Nearly a thousand visitors saw over 140 objects and prints dealing with the German flag some of which were perceived as provocative, some as curiosities and others as an unique approach to a national symbol.
Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold in China
2010 Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold kicked-off its activities in China with an opening reception at M50 Creative Space in Shanghai. In May 2010 Farbwerte was invited by the German Pavilion EXPO 2010.
Till today there have been projects and exhibitions in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tehran, Jakarta, Muscat, Athen, Skopje, Dhaka and Berlin.
Encouraged by the success of the project so far we look for partners to foster our ongoing activities.
In October 2011, the new Farbwerte-Pop-Up Gallery was launched at Blooom/ART.FAIR in Cologne. With the sale of the work we ensure the ongoing and future projects.
Comments about the project Farbwerte – SchwarzRotGold
Gudrun Steinacker – Ambassador of Germany in Skopje, Macedonia: “Farbwerte is an excellent example of how to deal with a national symbol, the German national flag, in a creative, imaginative as well as critical manner.”
Bernd Erbel – Ambassador of Germany in Tehran, Iran: “Farbwerte turns the cliché of the ‘typical German’ on its head.”
Dr. Norbert Baas – Ambassador of Germany in Jakarta, Indonesia: “I was impressed by the playful yet thoughtful approach of Farbwerte. The diversity of the individual characters presented create an immediate understanding of how Germany is today.”
Lutz Engelke, Triad Berlin: “The first exhibition was a very special political statement. Being a dialog with the flag as the national symbol at first sight, visitors could explore the depth of German identity. 20 years after the wall came down. Farbwerte has closed the gap between the pathos of political speeches and the images of a celebrating nation during the world soccer championship in 2006. An exhibition about and for modern Germans reflecting on the message of Schwarz Rot Gold in day to day life. Farbwerte means to learn more about Germany.”
Josef Krieg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “Would a Creative Director have initiated a project involving the German flag 20 years ago? Unheard of! But in 2009 Robert Eysoldt invites various people from Germany and abroad to reflect their personal relationship towards this national symbol. And the unprecedented happens: they simply do it. This experiment has been successful, because it is unusual, sometimes disturbing but always surprising – visitors react bewildered, they reflect, smile and they begin a discourse. More one can’t possible want.”
Milena Preradovic, N24: “Before anything else: not only did I like the exhibition – I felt appreciation. And that is a lot being surrounded by German flags. The images have released some parts of my cemented education. And the showed me, that a flag’s meaning is only what we make of it.
PS: I found myself smiling at some of the prints. Better said: I smiled back. And that can only be a good sign.”
About the Initiator and Creative Director
Robert Eysoldt studied Communication and Media and started his professional career in 1989 at the Cologne-based broadcaster RTL. In 1996 he was asked by RTL to found the profit centre „House of Promotion – Agency for Marketing, Promotion und Design“.
After leaving RTL in 2001 Robert Eysoldt worked as a senior consultant for various broadcasters and production companies in Berlin. From 2003 to 2006 he was Director TV at Universal Music Berlin being instrumental in the development of new content formats.
About the Photographer who photographed the portraits:
Frank Roesner has studied Philosophy, German Science and Political Science in Madrid, Vienna and Cologne. He was founder and CEO of various media companies and decided about 10 years ago to make his passion his profession.
Starting out as an artist under the pseudonym Lui Roq he soon began to work on commercial projects like (company-) portraits, documentaries and books. Today Lui Roq’s prints and portfolios are found in private as well as public collections. As a freelance professional he has worked for clients like Bertelsmann Stiftung, European Space Agency, DHL, Amnesty International, Triad Berlin, Bizanga Int among others. For further info please visit: www.luiroq.com