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The Strangers

by Thomas Schütte
documenta 9, 1992

Artwork audio
documenta 9
The Strangers


A group of human figures in colorful folk-style clothing has arrived atop the columned portico of the former “Roter Palais” with their improvised luggage items. They are helpless-looking figures with clearly differing ethnic and geographic origins. Rendered in a seemingly naïve, schematic style, these strangers personify exclusion and the absence of social integration. As figures on the fringe of society, they gaze in their precarious situation with lowered eyes at the square below them but cannot participate in the urban life they observe. Schütte’s sculpture group has gained increasing sociopolitical currency in recent years in light of the global waves of refugees and migrants. Originally a twelve-part ensemble, the work may also be seen as a contemporary counterpart to the six neoclassical allegories above the entrance to the Museum Fridericianum.

Property of: Stadt Kassel


Thomas Schütte (* 1954 in Oldenburg). Striving to avoid identification with a specific genre or style, Schütte has become one of the most versatile contemporary artists in terms of his choice of media. He took part in documenta 8, 9, and 10.