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Black Bandits

April 23, 2015 by Mary

The ‘Black Bandits’ exhibition opens today in Berlin at ‘The House on Lützowplatz’ to celebrates Adolph Freiherr von Lützow and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815) as the end of the Napoleonic Wars. This exhibition features two works by Johannes Albers

‘Saccharibacter floricola’ by Johannes Albers, 190cm X 180cm, oil on canvas, 2014

The House on Lützowplatz (‘Haus am Lützowplatz’) is an exhibition and event space supported by the Art Association founded in 1960 “House on Lützowplatz - Cultural Patronage Berlin”.

The exhibition in the Lützowplatz does not pursue purely historical review of the topic. Being aware of the strength and explosiveness of the current historical narrative, it relies on the autonomy of contemporary art in terms of a resonance thereby open space between past and present.It's in the works, which have been partially established especially for the exhibition, not the illustration of history, but the mark of fractures and dislocations in the process of remembering the events of two hundred years ago, and their traces in today's collective consciousness.

‘200 Years’ by Johannes Albers, 90cm X 90cm X 51 cm, glass, dust, waste, 2015

Ludwig Adolph Wilhelm Freiherr von Lützow (May 18, 1782 - December 6, 1834) was commander of a volunteer unit that was formed along with other so-called ‘Hunter Detachment’ for increased staffing of the Prussian army for the war against France in February 1813.The Lützow Free Corps consisted largely of “non-Prussian foreigners”. Their clothes were brought uniformly colored black, resulting in particular for the cavalry of the Lützower the nickname “Black Hunter” was derived.Narrated is also on the French side, the term “brigands noirs”, ie black guerrillas or bandits, as their opponents as regular troops did sometimes not consider them.

The Lützow Free Corps was ultimately not very successful militarily, but gained in the course of the national liberation movement and the pre-March legendary status.In it fought a particularly high proportion of artists and intellectuals.At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, after the victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig (19 10.1813) and the conquest of Paris in May 1814, the Free Corps was disbanded.The professional soldiers of the Lutzow were integrated into regular regiments of the Prussian army.Lützow commanded a cavalry brigade during the last coalition war against Napoleon and was seriously wounded at Ligny on June 16, 1815.Parts of its original Freikorps fought two days later at the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon captured personal car with hat, sword, and all orders.

Several Lützower engaged after 1815 in the fraternity movement and wore their black uniforms as a sign of aspirations to join the democratic ideals of freedom of the French Revolution with thoughts of a unified nation-state.The first student fraternity founded in Jena - before the students compounds were separated in country teams - received in 1816 a flag whose colors relate to the uniform of the Lützow Free Corps had (black skirt, red cuffs, gold buttons) and from the off, according to a among historians not undisputed evidence chain, then the first black-red-gold colors ableiteten 1848 officially used in the Frankfurt National Assembly as a symbol of a unified, parliamentary Germany.

The Lützowplatz was named after Baron von Lützow on 23 November 1869.