PlaceBärwalder See lake, Uhyst, (GER) 2007

Material: concret

PlaceBärwalder See lake, Uhyst, (GER) 2007

Curator:  Susanne Altmann, Dresden (GER)

Photo: Stefan Schröder

ÜBER TAGE_07 – Art projects in the public space of Lausitzer Seenland, Germany, September 2007 – September 2008.

Handlungsspielraum (scope/space for action) is a sculptural record of memory. The project tells the history of Bärwalder See lake in a series of keywords. Eight verbs refer to eight specific events or states associated with the creation of the lake: discover, resettle, demolish, dig out, burn, fill up, remember, forget. It was geologists who discovered the coal, residents who were resettled, villages that were demolished, coal that was dug out and burned, a lake that was filled up and finally people who remember or forget all this.

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The eight words are casted in negative relief in each of eight concrete objects the size of railway sleepers. They are installed at irregular intervals along the sandy beach around the lake. On the lakeside, some of the elements are partly covered by sand and hard to find, suddenly reappearing some time later, unearthed by wind and rain or discovered by chance and dug out by beachgoers.

The compact narrative form compresses the history of the Bärwalder See into a dry, bureaucratic protocol. All emotional padding and all detail is filtered out. The viewer’s gaze is directed back towards the actual process and the individual moments that led to the transformation of this place, while a counterpoint is created by the monumental excess of using cast concrete elements weighing hundreds of kilograms.
allows a direct making-present of the drastic events at Bärwalder See. Remembering is turned into something that can be experienced, grasped and felt.


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