CHRIS DERCON AND CHRISTOPH SCHLINGENSIEF, MUNICH, 2005
PHOTO: MARION VOGEL
Christoph Schlingensief was interested neither in a division of different fields of art nor in dissolving these fields. So he repeatedly claimed, »I’m not a filmmaker anymore.« Often he felt more at home in the museum than in the theatre. »I come from film. But art is easier to produce. You can do so much!« Did he contradict himself? No, he just wouldn’t let anybody stipulate things for him. He acted, and he did so, as in his Africa project, always in the sense of a »transactor« and negotiator. In the final months of his life, he always negotiated for money, of which he needed a great deal for the opera village Remdoogo in Burkina Faso. During his very last public appearance, at the end of June 2010 in Munich at the opening of the Opernfestspiele, where he himself played the »negro« in Via Intolleranza II, he showed on stage the art market page of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of that very day: a picture of a photo-realistic painting by Gerhard Richter entitled »Neger«, from the year 1964. It was to be auctioned off shortly thereafter, and the estimates were very high. A few days later Schlingensief needed radiation therapy in hospital. The painting was sold for about 4 million euros; even half of that would have been enough to build Remdoogo. Two months later, Christoph Schlingensief died. But as the development of Remdoogo and this auction show, Christoph Schlingensief is not dead – he just hid really well.