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Münchhausen
  • Artist Martin Wickström (Swedish, *1957)
  • TitleMünchhausen
  • Dating 1991
  • Technique/MaterialOil on panel, photography on lightbox
  • AcquisitionPurchase, 1997
  • CategorySculpture
  • Inventory NumberSk 729
  • Display StatusOn display in The Étage I
Description
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
Martin Wickström’s image is shaped like a silhouette of the famous Baron von Münchhausen riding on a cannonball. In the silhouette, there is a painted image of a city, against a backdrop of dark clouds. In the centre of the cannonball, a three-dimensional plastic tub holds a glowing image of an idyllic village in the Alps, a form of mental luggage that can be interpreted as part of Münchhausen’s self. Our identity is also made up of the places and streets where we have lived and where parts of us remain. They become a kind of baggage that we carry with us through life.

The real-life Baron von Münchhausen was born in 1720 in Bodenwerder in the electorate of Hanover. He was renowned for his ability to recount the most grotesque and fantastic anecdotes from his adventures in hunting and war. He fought with the Russians against the Turks in the 1740s, and claimed that he rode home on half a horse. He also claimed that he could lift himself up by his hair, that he once had been swallowed by a fish, and that he had made a journey to the moon. Already during his lifetime, his stories were written down unbeknownst to him, and generously peppered with older folk tales. Just as Münchhasen transformed his life into a myth, Wickström, in the manner of postmodernism, compiles a number of images of different origin into a new, composite unity that defies our preconceptions of images as witnesses to reality.