Germany’s highest tower block will be visible across the city, but there will be no compensation for its direct environment. The investor is allowed to build, but the city is getting nothing in return.
Horst Hoheisel, Sketch for the Memorial to the Aschrottbrunnen Fountain, Kassel, Germany, c. 1987-96 (via goethe)
'I have designed the new fountain as a mirror image of the old one, sunk beneath the old place in order to rescue the history of this place as a wound and as an open question, to penetrate the consciousness of the Kassel citizens so that such things never happen again. That's why I rebuilt the fountain sculpture as a hollow concrete from after the old plans and for a few weeks displayed it as a resurrected shape at City Hall Square before sinking it, mirror-like, 12 meters deep into the ground water. The pyramid will be turned into a funnel into whose darkness water runs down. From the architektonische Spielerei, as City Hall architect Karl Roth called his fountain, a hole emerges which deep down in the water creates an image reflecting back the entire shape of the fountain.'
In Germany when you make a wall, it’s not just a wall.
Art, in its conspicuousness, in its recognizability, is an indication of failure. If it were truly consumed, no longer visible or conspicuous, if there were only a few manifestations of art left, it would actually be where it belongs - that is, within the people for whom it was created.
For young German artists and sculptors like the [Jochen and Esther Gerz], Norbert Radermacher, and Horst Hoheisel, the possibility that memory of events so grave might be reduced to exhibitions of public craftsmanship or cheap pathos remains intolerable. They contemptuously reject the traditional forms and reasons for public memorial art, those spaces that either console viewers or redeem such tragic events, or indulge in a facile kind of Wiedergutmachung or purport to mend the memory of a murdered people. Instead of searing memory into public consciousness, they fear, conventional memorials seal memory off from awareness altogether. For these artists such an evasion would be the ultimate abuse of art, whose primary function, to their mind, is to jar the viewers from complacency and challenge and denaturalize the viewers’ assumptions.