A large, white sculpture stands on the lawn. At first sight, it seems abstract, but two large black openings at the top turn it into a giant ghost. In the human imagination, ghosts and apparitions take on a vast range of forms. People often imagine them as being invisible, only material from the physical world, such as a sheet thrown over, lending visibility. This cloth simultaneously veils and reveals the form, a phenomenon as interesting in sculpture as it is in fiction. But Ghost not only rises from the ground as a majestic, solitary sculpture; it also places itself in the context of the museum buildings on the other side of the street. Its color and scale relate explicitly to the museum’s minimalist architecture, but where the buildings are grounded and cubical in form, the sculpture is organic, flowing, and seems to float over the lawn.
Unknown Mass, too, relates explicitly to the architecture in whose context it is positioned. From a distance, the sculpture looks like a gleaming mass dripping down from the upper edge of the restroom building. The slow swelling of a drop stands in contradiction to the high-gloss material, evoking a fluidity like that of mercury. Seemingly abstract from the exterior of the building, the sculpture suggests a completely different interpretation to the restroom user, who perceives it as a spook hanging upside down to peer inside. The form’s two openings are immediately read as eyes, lending it a poetic, animistic, and, in such an intimate situation, somewhat startling aspect. Having taken on this new interpretation, Unknown Mass can be understood in relation to Ghost.
Photo: Oyamada Kuniya
inges idee consists of the artists Hans HEMMERT, Axel LIEBER, Thomas A. SCHMIDT and Georg ZEY, who have worked jointly on “art in public space” since the group was founded in Berlin in 1992. In parallel with their collaborative work, all members are active in their own individual artistic practices. Their permanent works, such as Sounds (Monheim am Rhein, Germany, 2019) and Travelling Light (Calgary, Canada, 2013), are sited in public spaces around the world. They also showed their site-specific work Undeveloped Playground at Skulptur Biennale Münsterland (Emsdetten, Germany, 2001).
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