Near the forest, not far from the Ebersberg watchtower, darkness approaches with great steps. In the distance you can only see the majestic Alps. But before the night spreads completely, it suddenly lights up: in the square where Midsummer celebrations are traditionally celebrated with great fire, there is a hut without walls, built from bright, bright neon tubes. “From here it sounds more poetic,” says Anke Westermann.
The Berlin artist designed the “Lichthaus” installation in 2017, in fact in a completely different context. Now the artwork can be seen at the Arcadia Festival at the Ebersberger Kunstverein. Organizer Peter Case explains that the site selection below the watchtower was not random: “It was important to us that it not be installed in the city center. Hence it has a far-reaching impact.” “The classic castle in the sky idea,” adds Anki Westerman.
The light house was created as part of her long-term project called “Building Tools Kit for an Imaginary City” – as a visual cue, the artist, who also has a political background: criticizes the destruction of open spaces within the city, raises awareness of green systems of cultural value in the midst of urbanization. But above all, there is one thing that is important to her: “enhancing the space for imagination, and motivating people to develop dreams.”
Living, city open spaces, condensation – these themes have moved the artist for a long time. When you talk about it, it tells a lot about the German capital, and its facilities, for example, Prinzessinnengärten, an alternative garden project in Kreuzberg. Westermann himself started such a project behind the Volksbühne in Berlin Mitte until the property was privatized. “Out of my commitment to preserve this area, the idea of a light house arose.” Far from the original context, the installation can be moved to Ebersberg; Here, too, the issue of living space is a big problem.
Finally, Westerman suggests, “Let’s go inside.” Although the light house does not have a roof and pulls it on all sides, you subconsciously feel that you have actually entered another room, to experience the place from a different perspective. Westermann describes it like this: “Here you feel more protected, and thinking is more focused.” Despite everything, and the artist plays with it too, the light house remains an illusion, too. Anyone who turns their gaze toward the watchtower between 9 pm and 11 pm in the next two months will not be able to go past their lights.
Not quite straightforward, but it is also worth looking into, a sign recently placed on the rim of the Ebersberger Altpassage: although it is by no means reflective, it holds the mirror to the viewer. “Slow parking” is written in white letters on a blue background, with the typical uppercase P. on it, the fee schedule is unusual: if you park the car for up to 30 minutes in this car park between the shopping center and the yard of the monastery building, you have to pay ten EURO If you exceed this time and stay standing for up to an hour, you are asked to pay only five euros. And this logic continues. One day costs 1 euro, and for two or more days there is no bill, but free coffee at the nearby Kunstverein.
The Time Delay Association set up this lagging stand, and the installation is also a contribution to the Arcadia Festival and will be on display until its conclusion, in mid-July. Time and time again, Kiss says, passers-by stopped at the sign, interested and amused. Yes, what does motion artist Martin Lippmann want to say in a humorous way with this parking space quickly evident: How paradoxical is that stress and hectic pace are financially rewarded in our daily lives? Shouldn’t it be better to spend so much time – for anything? To shop at the pharmacy, to chat with your friend Ebersberg, to visit the festival around town? In the next few weeks, there will be many stops that are supposed to stimulate thinking, laughter and dreams. And this deserves attention. So we can only hope that the slowing car park will be used widely.
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