Hans and Grete, Sue de Beer’s two channel video installation, portrays the psychological lives of recent American school shooters.  Considering real-life horrific events and their resulting social phenomena, de Beer finds common ground between terror - calculated acts of violence - and the morbid, escapist fantasies of the horror genre.  In Hans and Grete, fictional acts of terror are presented through the lens of teen-age pop culture obsession.  De Beer draws on actual events, such as the 1999 shooting massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, which commanded massive public outcry and media frenzy.  Set in a nebulous contemporary context, de Beer’s narrative incorporates the characters of German terrorists active in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  As Icons of underground and counter-cultural movements, these historical events and figures - often in symbolic form - are recycled into popular culture.

“Hans und Grete” were the aliases for Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, who were lovers and the ringleaders of the Red Army Faction, a West German revolutionary movement.  In 1970, Ulrike Meinhof, editor of the leftist German newspaper Konkret, aided Baader’s escape  from prison, thereby establishing the moniker of the “Baader-Meinhof” gang.  As ‘guerrilla” terrorists, the Baader-Meinhof group was involved in a chain of violent

revolutionary actions worldwide.  Coupled with the suspicious alleged suicides of several key gang members, their widespread influence elevated many figures in the group to the status of counter-culture legends.  De Beer’s video incorporates elements of the

Baader-Meinhof story in the torture psychological dramas of its characters.  Media images of Meinhof, alongside rock and goth posters, appear in the work as a visual anthem for the teen characters’ fatalistic credos and dark obsessions.

- Stephen Hilger, ex.catalog Hans und Grete 

A R T I S T  /  D I R E C T O R  S U E  D E  B E E R

Sue de Beer is an artist who uses video, installation, photography and sculpture to explore the connections between memory, history and architecture. De Beer earned her B.F.A from Parsons School of Design and her M.F.A from Columbia University and is the recipient of the Philip Morris Emerging Artist Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.

She has exhibited in such venues as the New Museum, The MoMa, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, Kunst Werke, ZKM Karlsruhe and the Busan Biennial at Busan Museum of Modern Art.

De Beer’s work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum for Contemporary  Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Goetz Collection.

H A N S  A N D  G R E T E   Artist / Director - Sue de Beer

Producer - Sue de Beer  /  Starring - Travis Jeppesen, Lena Lauzemis, Fluffy, Lily and Esther

Smith as Voice of Fluffy /

Language - English  /  Length - 39 min /  Kind Permission  -  Sue de Beer, Christian Ehrentraut

Screenings / Exhibitions

Postmasters Gallery, New York, 2003

Kunst Werke, Berlin, Sept 2003 -Jan 2004

'The Whitney Biennial', March-June 2004

'Zur Vorstellung des Terrors: Die RAF' Kunst Werke: Berlin, Germany, Feb-May, 2005

'Zur Vorstellung des Terrors: Die RAF' Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum:

Graz, Austria, June-Aug 2005

Museo Rufino Tamiyo.Mexico City, Mexico, 2006

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