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der Beruf

Date. 2017

City. Weimar

Taking Max Weber’s ideas as a starting point, project der Beruf reflects on Martin Luther’s concepts of sola fide and der Beruf and their possible bounds with modern capitalism and it’s impacts. 

Despite obvious cult of Martin Luther and Reformation in Germany that culminated in many well-funded official event of its 500-year anniversary in 2017, some of Luther’s reforms rise questions and doubts due to possible bounds with capitalism and its impacts.

Max Weber in his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism points at the concept of der Beruf, added within translation of the Bible by Luther in a meaning of a life task, set by God. Together with sola fide (by faith alone), another Luther's concept, it places a protestant man in a predefined situation, in which he has no impact on own life and fate. This turns upside down the very idea of religion, limiting it to obedience and absolute fear of non-completing of a task, set by those, who stand above (God either CEO). The concept of predestination, developed in Calvinism, excludes any sort of questions about distribution of positions and resources that are the result of unchangeable God's choice. 

der Beruf creates parallels between modern globalized business and Protestantism, based on an assumption that in Protestant terms process of gaining money can be compared to religious activity: capitalistic enterprise by providing secured working places provides framework for fulfillment of a task, set by God – der Beruf, in terms of Protestant ethic.

Projection der Beruf superpose two images, consciously constructed from low-quality images with watermarks from stocks. The first one is the image of two modern workers, an embodiment of the concept of Beruf - modern Adam and Eve. They are dressed in business style and pronounce random business phrases that already turn into cliché of the time. Their heads are replaced with objects that symbolize their professions, titles of their positions sound as cliché as well. The second image is industrial large scale production and pollution it causes to the environment. Title of professions in Chinese remind that currently most of goods and products are manufactured in China.

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