You may first notice what appears to be a small schoolboy in prayer. As you draw near, this eerie figure is revealed to be Adolf Hitler, looking skywards as if seeking forgiveness. Hitler’s face is instantly recognisable – a harsh reminder of a single man’s power to create horror and pain that would change the course of history. This powerful work within this historical setting can spark important conversations about national memory, repentance and the importance of never forgetting in order never to reproduce the mistakes of the past.
Hitler represents such radical evil as to make it difficult for us even to pronounce his name. The title of this work is based on this awareness and unites it with a highly ambiguous moral gesture. The dictator is represented kneeling in the act of pleading for forgiveness (from god perhaps ?). The dimensions of the figure are slightly reduced, as in other works representing stoic or artistic icons. Is forgiveness conceivable in the case of an icon of radical evil ? Cattelan seeks to arouse reactions of indignaion through the public's possible replies to this question.