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September 1st, 2010


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11:53 am - Duckomenta - or the Duckification of the World.
We briefly interrupt our ongoing travelogue about New York to write about the "Duckomenta", an exhibition that shows many rarely seen masterpieces as well as outright archaeological sensations that were recently on display at Neuenbürg Palace, a place not far from my hometown.

Duckomenta


Neuenbürg Palace was built in its current form around 1550. But the Duke it was for actually never moved in. Instead administrators and civil servants lived there for many centuries. It's now partially used as a museum and there are regularly exhibitions and special events. You can also book it for weddings, meetings or other events.

Building outside the main palace.
Duckomenta


Entry gate to the courtyard.
Duckomenta


The courtyard inside.
Duckomenta


By the way, all pictures were taken by a friend who I visited the exhibition with. He has the better camera and there was need to photograph everything twice.
Typical Sphinx.
Duckomenta


Sarcophagus of Duckamun I.
Duckomenta


Painting from Ancient Japan.
Duckomenta


Elisabeth of Bavaria, better known as Sisi, painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
Duckomenta


And her husband, Franz Josef I.
Duckomenta


Friedrich II. King of Prussia by Antoine Pesne.
Duckomenta


An early portrait of Ludwig II.
Duckomenta


The mysterious wanderer found not too long ago in the Alps.
Duckomenta


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein.
Duckomenta


Three paintings by Carl Spitzweg. The Bookworm,
Duckomenta


Sunday Walks,
Duckomenta


and maybe the most famous one, The Poor Poet.
Duckomenta


While the art works are fun to look at alone, another element is missing here and that's the very amusing descriptions that you can find next to each exhibit. Just like with the originals they tell you a little about the creator and the exhibit itself. But in a funny, often slightly ironic way that adds much to the pleasure of walking through the exhibition. I used some of the "Duckification" names that were used but they are only a very limited substitute for the captions.

Vincent Van Gogh, self-portrait with beak.
Duckomenta


Frida Kahlo.
Duckomenta


Rarely seen piece by Gustav Klimt.
Duckomenta


Daisy sitting by Egon Schiele.
Duckomenta


The Disquieting Muses by Giorgio de Chirico.
Duckomenta


Salvador Dalí's The Phantom Cart.
Duckomenta


Ceci n'est pas une souris by Magritte.
Duckomenta


The Elephant Celebes by Max Ernst.
Duckomenta


Another Dalí, The Persistence of Memory.
Duckomenta


I'm afraid my art knowledge is sadly limited. But I'm sure some of you can help me identify the next three exhibits or artists.
Edit: Identified with the help of a friendly emailer, it's The Tower of Blue Horses by Franz Marc.
Duckomenta


Unknown.
Duckomenta


Unknown.
Duckomenta


An early Christo on the left, and a typical Giacometti on the right.
Duckomenta


Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture and the small Venus of Willendorf statue.
Duckomenta


The whole thing started in the mid-1980s when some people in the German city of Braunschweig got together who on the one hand collected Disney merchandise, but on the other hand also feared that the wave of American influences would more and more take over other cultures. Like the more common use of English words in the German language, or brands like Mcdonald's and Coca-Cola. So, as the full name of the exhibition indicates (loosely translated by me), "Duckomenta - or the Duckification of the World", it is in some way meant to raise awareness of those influences. Though I have to say I'm not sure if they are entirely succeeding.

Another crucifixion study by Francis Bacon.
Duckomenta


Roy Lichtenstein's famous Drowning Duck.
Duckomenta


Piet Mondrian. If you look at it from the distance, you can clearly see it's a Composition with Rectangular Ears.
Duckomenta


Composition with Yellow, Red, Blue, Black and Grey.
Duckomenta


Edvard Munch: The Scream - so far unknown version.
Duckomenta


Georg Baselitz: Duck in sailor suit. Don't say it.
Duckomenta


Duckfrete - still considered one of the most beautiful ducks of all time.
Duckomenta


Buddha.
Duckomenta


Iconic poster of Che Duckevara.
Duckomenta


Which also often can be found as a mural.
Duckomenta


Édouard Manet, The Luncheon on the Grass.
Duckomenta


Last, not least, Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer above the Sea of Fog.
Duckomenta


And a few more impressions of the Palace and the area. Inside the courtyard.
Duckomenta


The steps you have to climb to reach the entry of the exhibition. Note the difference in steepness on the two sides.
Duckomenta


The small garden behind the palace.
Duckomenta


View of the other side of the valley.
Duckomenta


And an unconventional looking church in the village.
Duckomenta

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lostsailors
Date:September 1st, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)
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THIS.


Was utterly hilarious.
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 1st, 2010 10:40 am (UTC)
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Glad to provide some diversion from all the other terrible things. :)
[User Picture]
From:knarz
Date:September 1st, 2010 11:35 am (UTC)
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Awww, gorgeous. I wanna go there when baby's older. :)
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 1st, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
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It will be next in Hildesheim until May next year. It's probably easiest to have a look at their homepage now and then for further dates. :)
[User Picture]
From:rustdangel
Date:September 1st, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC)
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OMG, I loved that.

My favorites are 'The Bookworm', 'Sunday Walk' & 'Budda Duck'

Thank you for sharing! =)
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 1st, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
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You're welcome! :)

There are too many to mention. I had to laugh when I saw the Dalí with the melting Micky for the first time. And I thought the two Mondrian's are very clever.
[User Picture]
From:greyduck
Date:September 1st, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
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Well, that was just ducky. :)
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 1st, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
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Very fitting icon! :)
[User Picture]
From:sisterjune
Date:September 1st, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
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Hee I saw the first pic and started grinning and didnt stop till I got to the end. I can't say it makes me think of the pervasiveness of American influences so much as it makes me think "duckies yay!". But maybe that's cause I like ducks ahhaha. But I am not as worried about america taking over the world as the makers perhaps, and not just cause I'm american. But because I really don't think America could take over the world in that way, I do think big corporations (many of them at least american in origin) are an issue but I think it takes alot more than alot more than that to completely erase another culture's distinctive cultural practices and customs. I do worry sometimes though, like how there is a Mcdonalds in almost EVERY place on earth! Creepy. Plus I had a dream once where I turned into a hamburger. It sounds funny but I assure you sir it was not!
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 1st, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
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Glad to hear it amused you. :) There apparently exist even more pieces, they only had some of them on display.

I think that was more a thing of the 80s. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned it. But I wanted to write a few words about its origin and I found a long interview with one of the founders. It gets nowhere mentioned at the exhibition itself. So I think it doesn't play a role anymore.

I surely don't think that you dreaming about turning into a hamburger is funny. That's obviously a nightmare. ;)
[User Picture]
From:padawansguide
Date:September 1st, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
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That is so bizarre! It must have been a fun exhibit to see! The castle looks beautiful too!
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 1st, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
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It was a nice excursion and in parts even funnier than I expected thanks to the amusing captions of the exhibits.

It was one of those occasions, you know, like, he's been walking around in Downtown NY, but finally he's also been visiting the castle less than a thirty minute drive away. :)
[User Picture]
From:foxestacado
Date:September 1st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
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THESE ARE SO WONDERFUL. I absolutely adore these! Ahhh, I'm inspired. I don't know if I want to paint ducks, but this is fantastic.
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 2nd, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
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That would surely be interesting if you'd come up with your version of a famous painting with an added duck or mouse. :)
[User Picture]
From:isiscolo
Date:September 1st, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
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These are wonderful! I like the Mondrians, the Japanese painting, the Munch and the Magritte the best!
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 2nd, 2010 08:58 am (UTC)
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Glad you like them! It really shows how much effort they put into this to stay true to the originals.
[User Picture]
From:zoaster_toaster
Date:September 1st, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
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OMG

There are no words to describe how awesome that was.
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 2nd, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
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Nice to know you enjoyed it. :)
[User Picture]
From:ayrdaomei
Date:September 2nd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
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So surreal! I love The Bookworm, though. What a neat place for an exhibit, to boot. That view of the valley is lovely.
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 2nd, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
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It is slightly surreal. And in some cases, the more often you look at them, the more you accept this is how some paintings should look. :)

Despite the fact that this place is very close to where I live, I've never actually been there. It's not a castle in the sense that you go there for sightseeing. But this provided a wonderful opportunity to finally visit. :)
[User Picture]
From:ji_xiang
Date:September 2nd, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
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That was a ton of fun - and the artwork was very good, too! I love how they blended the duck theme in :)

I've been remiss in our e-mails - I keep on forgetting whose turn it is to write, but perhaps I'll just sit down and write you a long one soon :) We joined the YMCA (a gym with a pool here), and I've been going to classes every day, leaving me sore and tired almost all the time. But I tell myself it's worth it, if I can finally lose this weight and be healthy :)
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 2nd, 2010 09:11 am (UTC)
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Glad you enjoyed it! I think it really shows how much they tried to stay true to the originals.

And nice that this entry lead to a sign of life from you. I was thinking the last couple of days if I should send you another email. I don't think it's in particular anybody's turn to write an email. But I was hoping the New York travelogue entries I started to write would lead to a comment or two from you. :)
Looking forward to an email from you if you find the time. And you don't have to start out with a very long one. As you know, they get longer automatically over time with the replies. :)
[User Picture]
From:seldearslj
Date:September 2nd, 2010 11:53 am (UTC)
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Hilarious! And very clever!

Although, I kept on expecting the word 'Duckumentary' to come up somewhere along the way.
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
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Glad you enjoy them! :)

Shoot, didn't think of that one. I'll probably use it next time I'll include a doc in a trailer post. Either on purpose or inadvertently. ;)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 16th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
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The descriptions added much to the enjoyment since they were often written similarly serious like captions from "real" exhibitions but with a slight ironic undertone.

I think that then you would surely have enjoyed the event. :)
I don't think anyone who's just visiting the exhibition would get the idea that this was originally meant to be subtly critical of US cultural influences. I think it has more to do with historic reasons. During the 1980s when it started people here were much more critical of such influences. Though I have to admit that it is worth a thought.

I'm still not sure how the collection developed. I believe the official website says nothing about it. I found an interview that mentions that it started when a few friends got together. But also a professor who started to involve interested students of his who I suspect contributed lots of works over time. It may also explain why not everything looks perfect. But it's the thought that counts. :)
[User Picture]
From:bri_chan
Date:September 19th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
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See this is the kinda stuff we need to have in the Disneyland Gallery on Main Street, and I guarantee it would draw in the kinda crowds the Gallery is always hoping for.

My favorite would be Elisabeth of Bavaria, I always did love that painting. <3
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:September 20th, 2010 07:32 am (UTC)
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They could try to contact the people responsible for the exhibiton. Though I doubt they would want an official connection with Disney itself.

You do have a weakness for princesses, don't you. :)
[User Picture]
From:ayrdaomei
Date:October 11th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
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Thanks so much for The Bookworm postcard! I absolutely love it!
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:October 12th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
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Glad to hear you enjoy it. :)

Did you only receive it now? I think I sent it about a month ago. Did I mess up the address?

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