When Nina Röder‘s grandparents died three years ago, the family
had to clear out and finally sell their house within a week. Most of
the grandparents‘ belongings were packed up at random - only a
few mementos were deliberately chosen and stored in a basement
room in the house of Röder‘s mother in the little town Windsbach in Germany.
The door of this room was opened again for the first time at the
beginning of 2020. With an ambivalence of amazement and melancholy
all objects, furnishings and especially the grandmother‘s clothes
It was in this basement room that Nina Röder and her mother staged
portraits, self-portraits and still lifes with these belongings for the camera during the
Corona lockdown, thus creating a stage for an Absurd Theatre.
The series CHAMPAGNER IM KELLER follows Röder‘s work about
her family, in which she encounters loss and grief in a performative
and humorous way. As in her previous series, Röder deals with individual
abilities to act and explores questions about the influence our
family and our origins, as well as losses and inherited traumas, can
have on our thoughts and actions. With the potential of photographic
staging, the process of letting go of family members in Röder‘s
works is thus experienced as a changeable construction of contemporary
The title of the series is based on a quotation from Röder‘s grandfather.
On the occasion of his 90th birthday he was given several
bottles of champagne as a gift. As a modest man he brought those
into his basement and said: „When the beer is empty, we‘ll drink the
champagne in the basement.“