Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine

Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine (Modification—Constantly Climbing Stones), 2009

The project Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine at the Kunstverein Ruhr in Essen was a space-related installation in which two load-bearing square pillars in the exhibition space were walled in using two different brick courses that suggested a helix structure. The brick courses alluded directly to the chimneys of the Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam (Germany).

Whereas the smokestacks in Essen and environs are functional industrial structures, the chimneys of the Schloss Cecilienhof are ornamental structures that serve as symbols of court’s status. Nevertheless, they share a symbolic character: In each case, the chimneys have become characteristic of the overall urban and rural look of the region in which they are at home. By taking these chimneys out of their real surroundings and placing them in an art context, I stripped them of their former function as status objects. In this way, they form a rapport with the smokestacks and brick architecture of the Ruhr region. They allude to the skill of artisan builders and at the same time liberate the perception of such ability of any sense of mere practicality.

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I approached the exhibition space in an analogous way. The square columns in the exhibition space served an architectonic function, but they were scarcely suited for this relatively small space. On the contrary, they blocked views of the objects exhibited. By cladding the square columns with the brickwork courses of the chimneys of Schloss Cecilienhof and making this sheathing itself the exhibit, I heightened the aesthetic functionality of the exhibition space. The two walled-in columns were conceived to be exhibited in different spaces, so that each results in a new work in its site-specific context.

Materials: brick, cinder blocks
Dimensions: height: each 320cm, diameter: 98 cm

Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine | Photo: Werner Hannappel

Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine | Photo: Werner Hannappel

Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine | Photo: Werner Hannappel

Modifikation—stetig steigende Steine | Photo: Werner Hannappel