History teacher and former activist-squatter Matthias Schmeier employs small means to illustrate big struggles. In his hobby room in a small town suburb of Cologne, Germany, he builds radical history dioramas in 1:35 scale. They include scenes from the Spanish Civil War, street riots and battles from Berlin, Munich, Belfast and Dublin, as well as refugee dramas in Vietnam, the Balkans and Beirut. Exploring the relationship between art and the history of political resistance, his theatrical miniatures range from the Dublin Easter Rising (1916) and the Munich workers’ council republic (1918-19) to events in 1980’s Germany in which he was a participant. These first-hand experiences might explain the lavish use of fine textures and small details in his work: from a bombed out house in Sarajevo to a 1 mm cigarette butt in the corner of the mouth of a Spanish anarchist.
“The revolution takes place in the basement.”
– Die Tageszeitung