„Das Wort Scherz ist nicht richtig. Es ist mehr Satire, schon Groteske, schwarzer Humor.“ – Reiner Langhans
In May 1967, Reiner Langhans and Fritz Teufel, two members of the political activist community Kommune 1, created a series of pamphlets discussing a deadly fire in a Brussels department store. Because of the inflammatory content, they were tried for incitement to arson. During their trial, as documented in Klau Mich, Langhans claimed that the pamphlets were satirical: a joke in serious format.
In this project I ask whether it is possible to mirror Langhans and Teufel’s satirical content in serious form, with serious content in satirical form. I have made a fifth pamphlet: a series of limericks, in German and English, exploring some of the themes of the original four. The limerick form is often used for tongue in cheek critique and mockery of institutions, governments and traditions. It allows mention of the explicit and horrifying, circumnavigating requirements for direct interaction. Here, the limericks mirror the intent of the original pamphlets. The K1 pamphlets were serious in form and tone, but ultimately a joke. Mine are the opposite: a collection of humorously formed rhymes which contain serious, morbid, occasionally graphic messages.