Art-imprisoned © [Gräfentonna 1999] Print E-mail

Hoheisel & Knitz

[Gräfentonna 1999]


Prison offers the same sense of security to the convict as does a royal palace to a king’s guest. They are the two buildings constructed with the most faith, those which give the greatest certainty of being what they are – which are what they are meant to be, and which they remain. The masonry, the materials, the proportions and the architecture are in harmony with a moral unity which makes these dwellings indestructible so long as the social form of which they are the symbol endures.

Jean Genet, The Thief’s Journal







Fjodor Michailowitsch Dostojewski, russischer Schriftsteller


Don Carlo Gesualdo, Komponist



Art-imprisoned ©
»From Caravaggio to Jean Genet«

Gräfentonna 1999 [Draft for an Art-Competition – not realised]

As a public artwork for a new built prison in Gräfentonna, Germany, Horst Hoheisel and Andreas Knitz proposed to mark the façade of the prison with portraits of very famous artists, writers and musicians of the art history like Jean Genet, Fjodor Dostojewskij, Caravaggio, Don Carlo Gesualdo and other artists, who spent years of their lives in prison. This portraits with a short biography of the artists should appear in all parts of the prison, even in the floors with the cells.

The subject of this work is the fact, that criminal energies and highest cultural achievements are not contrasts. Sometimes, for example in the case of Caravaggio, the history of art would be different without this genius, who was also a criminal.