Monument

In addition to the artistic concept, my contribution as a German is the experience with the silence in post-war Germany. The confrontation with crimes committed during the Nazi dictatorship took a long time and demanded an open discourse, necessary for a healing process in German society.

The spatial condensation through the cube and the free artistic arrangement of the sculptures resulted in the core of the planned monument.

With this cube, I take up central forms of my work as an artist. On the one hand the cube as a method to tackle spatial problems, as a means of our dealing with space and visible alterations of the landscape in the city, for example and their effects on surroundings and people. On the other hand the expression of thoughts, emotions, ideas, not in words but in images – at this point in the form of sculptures.

Description

 

The monument consists of two groups of objects: cube and sculptures.

The upper cube stands for brightness and light and is made completely of frosted glass.

The lower cube is situated under the upper glass cube and is located below ground level. This room represents silence and reflection. It can be accessed via external stairs.

A footpath consisting of red Uruguayan sand lines the upper, visible cube at an ample distance. Four marble sculptures stand on this footpath arranged in the four directions of the compass.

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On the frosted glass surface of the upper cube, video-, audio- and photo documentation of affected Uruguayans can be seen and heard. Apart from interviews it is planned to project text documents from court records illustrating the course of the trial and the results leading to the imprisonment of the accused. To provide privacy, concentration and sympathy, the various topics – films and documents – are presented on different sides of the cube.

 

The distance of the surrounding sculptures to the cube has to be large enough to allow for intensive viewing of the projections on the cube as well as the possibility for peace of mind and reflection within the aura of the sculptures. The four sculptures each have an individual expression. The expression, the collocation of the sculptures and their distance in regard to the cube offer different ways to confront the subject.

 

The space under the glass cube conveys its content in itself. The walls are bare, of raw concrete, without color or light, without any appeal. The lower cube is accessible via narrow external stairs.
The Monument can be accessed freely day and night. During daytime hours, documents and films can be seen. During the night, the cube is faintly illuminated with a gentle and pleasant light.

Filmed documentation

Interviews with contemporary witnesses are a central part of the memorial project and underline the aim of giving victims a voice. Interviews turn victims into relevant participants narrating their story to posterior generations. This historiography is very important as it prevents denial and trivialization of the crimes committed. Contemporary witnesses testify incidents which after the end of a dictatorship or tyranny are often reduced to footnotes, if they are mentioned at all, in the official historiography.

Text-, audio and film documents which are projected on the walls of the cube, are based on interviews with persons affected by the dictatorship. We aim to show the whole breadth of suffering during the dictatorship with our selection of witnesses. The suffering of former prisoners, many of them tortured, and their relatives belong to the traumas of dictatorships.

Central passages from the interviews are chosen for the presentation on the cube, partly as text document, partly as film documentation. Court records are classified and the trials and verdicts documented and presented on the cube.

The filmed interviews could lead to a documentary film – providing the interview partners agree. A book with the interviews of contemporary witnesses is to be published as accompanying document.