The Ubermensch and HDSP

by Wolf-Günter Thiel

Art historian and publisher, Berlin

What does it mean when artists begin to define themselves by collecting objects, rather than creating them? Artists simulate scientific research by exhibiting things they have gathered, categorized, documented, counted, archived, stacked and stored by analogical thinking as Michel Foucault puts it.

Others are documenting, counting, and archiving aspects of their lives and making objects that record these processes. Kristian von Hornsleth plays on this idea and deconstructs it by mystification of the act of archiving as well as the way of storing the archives.

The idea is to create a story like Homers Illiade and make people part of a story which people may tell in the future to understand our times from a future perspective. Hornsleth claims the position of an artist as an "Übermensch".

Kristian von Hornsleth is collecting blood samples and dna of people who are dedicated Hornsleth Art Lovers. In earlier times of civilization we would call it a tribal ritus. A ritus in order to manifest the tribal existence in a far away mythological future.

Hornsleth himself as the shamane of his own people conserves their cultural existence. His artistic act is a synonym for the cave paintings, which show tribal hunting scenes in the pre historical times of human existence. The wish is the documentation of existence as "deep storage" of DNA as part of the individual blood prove.

The technological believe in progressive natural sciences evokes the idea of another cycle of existence in a far away future.

The believe is that future science can evoke the today human individuals through their dna. Hornsleth himself speaks of this possibility of a second existence. Earlier civilizations would have respected an approach like this as "übermenschlich".

Friedrich Nietzsche, the german philosopher, wrote in 1883 the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The book's protagonist, Zarathustra, contends that ‘man is something which ought to be overcome’:

All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man?

Übermensch: The German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is appended. Mensch refers to members of the human species, rather than to men specifically.

The adjective übermenschlich means beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity. Zarathustra first announces the Übermensch as a goal humanity can set for itself. All human life would be given meaning by how it advanced a new generation of human beings.
The modern idea of all men are created equal and the base of modern idea of democratic rights are clearly contradicted by Nietzsches and Hornsleths approach.

Instead the people get a share of eternity or inhabit a right to eternal life, through taking part in Hornsleths action. This knowledge provides a glance of the "Übermensch" already.

The monumental sculpture of Hornsleth is an incorporation and memento of this knowledge and of this consciousness. An elitistic relieve  under the sea.                                
Relieve: ease a burden
2. to free from an unpleasant situation
3. to provide physical relief from pain
4. to free someone from obligations.

As a matter of fact all that is incorporaterd and provided through Hornsleths shamanism. Another aspect of Nietzsches concepts is of importance to the understanding of Hornsleths "deep storage" project: The eternal recurrence of the same. We like to understand this concept like this:

The eternal recurrence replaces the Übermensch as the object of serious aspiration. The Übermensch exists in the future, no historical figures have ever been Übermenschen, and so still represents a sort of escatological redemption in some future time.

This promise of beeing part of this future time and existence is the promise Hornsleth suggests.The Übermensch of this future times is to create new values, untainted by the spirit of gravity or asceticism.

Hornsleth and his own ‘created mythology’ hints clearly at Nietzsches concepts and suggests a way out of the contemporary desasters of modern times and their human individuals.

As long as you believe in Hornsleth you believe in a future and in a human value system. This will be documented or monumented through the Deep Storage Project.

It will be stored at one of the deepest places on earth the Mariana Trench. At the same time as it is a sign for Memento Mori it is a sign for future believes in individual exiestences.