Kunst-Aktion Inszenierung Absolvo te! Dennis Josef Meseg Beichtstuhl Discovery Art Fair 2023

Human-Art-Installation/ Staging “Absolvo te! 1.0”

Absolvo te!

It was more than 2000 years ago that a twelve year old boy from Nazareth went to Jerusalem with his parents and entered the temple, all by himself, to speak to the scribes. And they all admired his wisdom (Luke 2:41ff).

This young boy became the foundation stone of Christianity. Under his sign, the cross, catholic priests – the modern scribes – proclaim to this very day, what Jesus had said: „Let the children come to me and don’t repel them, for it is them who own the Kingdom of God.“ (Mark 10:14).

Inszenierung Absolvo tInszenierung Absolvo te Dennis Josef Meseg Kunst-Aktion 2023 Discovery Art Fair Colgnee Dennis Josef Meseg Kunst-Aktion 2023 Discovery Art Fair Colgne This is why devout parents send their boys to churches, catholic boarding schools, boys‘ choirs and recreational facilities, where priests are expected to protect them from all evil, so that, at the end of their lives, it will not be hell that awaits the children with purgatory and eternal damnation, but paradise.

Yet the way to heaven leads through the forest of wolves, which no child on earth can cross without ever falling to temptation. Help can be found in confessional boxes. They stand in catholic churches like a refuge; whoever seeks shelter in them and confesses his sins, receives absolution by the priest („Absolvo te!“).

Only what if this confessor is not a man of God, but the wolf itself? Not an animal from the wild, which only allays its hunger, but a malicious creature which aims to hurt the most precious thing that humans possess: their children.

They enwrap themselves in expensive robes, preach the word of God and issue absolution. When infact it is them who need to be absolved. For they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
With his new installation „Absolvo te!“ the artist Dennis Josef Meseg rebukes those heartless perpetrators to their rightful place: kneeling before their sexually abused victims, begging for forgiveness for all the suffering and persistent damage they inflicted upon our little ones. It would be a first step for those sinners on their way back to the right path. Away from the gates of hell.

Text was written by Ricarda Reich especially for this production ❤️


15.01.2023 – First contact

28.02.2023 – At the restorer

15.03.2023 – The actors

16.03.2023 – The confessional after the restoration

Time-lapse of the construction of the confessional in the Wesseling studio (16.03.2023)

The confessional originally came from the workshop of the famous Cologne painter and sculptor Otto Mengelberg.

18.03.2023 – The first rehearsals

Behind the scenes – the photo shoots

Impressions Photographer Heiko Heinen (Rehearsal 2 and Dress Rehearsal 3)

Impressions Photographer Julia Koslovski (Dress Rehearsal 4)

Impressions Photographer Christopher Goebel (Dress Rehearsal 3+4)

Impressions Photographer Julia Koslovski (At the Art Fair)

The script

Press information and press photos

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Invitation and free tickets

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The documentation of the thesis “Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.A.)”

The video documentary (german; 40:17 min.)

Inszenierung Absolvo te! | Dokumentation | Dennis Josef Meseg | Discovery Art Fair 2023 Köln

The short film (german; 22:46 min.)

Inszenierung Absolvo te! | Dennis Josef Meseg | Discovery Art Fair 2023 Köln

And what does the press write?

Various press outlets report on “Absolvo te!”

What is currently happening around the confessional – Find out more.

Current press reports

📝 Text Ricarda Reich

With the kind support of Dot on Point Produktions

    If you are interested in this installation for your city, municipality, association, gallery, museum or other organisation, you can find out about availability and the rental price here.