Julia Schmid

Schriftbild #3, 2009
Ink on paper, 40 x 40 inches. $675


In “Schriftbild #3, 2009,“ Julia Schmid deals with the big question of fault in reference to Hitler’s dictatorship and German history. She composes the accusatory sentences such as “it is my fault/ it is your fault / it is our fault“
etc. resulting in a rotating swastika. Even though she deals with denunciations, the letter drawing is more a general question that everybody has to answer and think about. The constant number of iterations of the same sentences and the indication of a rotation creates an image of time and deals with the impossibility of turning it back or answering that question definitely.

This ongoing repetition of the same could be a symbol for the thousands of voices that tried to reject the question of fault over the last 60 years, but it can also be a symbol of all the people that were involved, that lived and died in the Second World War themselves and, at last, it should be a warning for the following generations at the same time. To break the risk of repeating the past, it is important for all not to forget what happened.

Written with ink on paper, its presentation is unframed, very raw, a kind of reference to graffiti tagging. Thus the artist does not exclude herself from her own statement, even though she is a young woman in the second generation after the Holocaust. She knows the importance of bringing this question into our mind again and again to be aware of not being guilty once more in relationship to contemporary politics as well as any possible future developments.


The young artist Julia Schmid was born in the south of Germany. After leaving her hometown, she worked as an assistant for several photographers and on movie productions primarily based in Munich, Germany using the skills she learned in the photography course during her first stay abroad in Cornwall, England. Afterwards she entered the photography class at the University for Applied Sciences in Munich, where she explored the field of documentary photography.

After the return from a residency in Paris, France she deepened her knowledge of German history. She started a project about forced displacement after the Second World War in the former “Sudetenland“ in the Czech Republic. This project was based on finding out some truth around the stories that she had heard so often from her grandmother during her childhood. She combined her photographic work with hand written quotes and documents. She examined the term “Heimat“ once more in the former German region Masuria in East Prussia with the juxtaposition of important historical quotes and photographs of places of history. In her recent work, the text and the images consolidate in these letter drawings where she focuses more and more on hand written compositions and skills.

Currently the artist lives and works in Berlin, Germany, where she is confronted constantly with the never ending project of accounting for Germany’s past. In addition to her focus on this important concern of German culture, Julia Schmid spent a great deal of time participating in creative workshops for asylum children organised by the non profit organisation “Refugio“ in Munich.

Julia Schmid Website