Manuel Graf

Museum Abteiberg

One cannot help but cower at the feet of Ekkehard Wallat—not least because the older gentleman appears almost life-size in a projection that fills the entirety of a gallery wall; the room is furnished with low, modern plastic stools. Wallat is a teacher accustomed to translating complex ideas into simple formulas. Here, in a presentation more graceful and direct than that of any politician or late-night talk-show host, he summarizes the evolutionary theory of Otto Heinrich Schindewolf, comparing the curvatures of the skulls of adult and child Homo sapiens with those of their ancestors since Australopithecus. His hands trace his explanations with precise elegance, and, as if by conjuration, a series of animated skulls glide in front of him; as Wallat’s ideas become more complex, the death’s heads follow him like balls, almost as if he ruled with the power of a magician. “If we summarize

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