The Good Spirit, 2018, wood, styrofoam, cotton fabric, bone glue, pigments, plaster, acrylic,
total hight:: 290 cm, figure: 215 cm

 

Impressions of the opening night

 

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two-week long documentation

* Photos: Astrid Piethan

 

 

 

 

The Good Spirit

The Ebertplatz in the centre of Cologne has long been the scene of heated debates on the question of who owns public space, which social groups and actors are or are not involved in this discussion, and who has the power to decide on the design and continued existence of the square. For the Cologne public, the Ebertplatz has for years acted as a culmination point and lightning conductor for various problems of urban policy, which, traced back to their core, are largely problems of society as a whole, which in principle are or could be manifested in all places in Germany.

The statue "The Good Spirit" was created against this background. The design of the Ebertplatz with its brutalistic architecture of the seventies is reminiscent of a kind of concrete urban confidence that a lively public will certainly populate this square. This "spirit" has long gone and is been caught up by reality. The eponym of the square, Friedrich Ebert, Social Democrat of the Weimar Republic, also seems to have lost substantial power. The good spirit, just a monument? The current deep crisis of the German Social Democratic Party is prompting such questions once again.
Ghostly, "The Good Spirit" is enthroned above the west side of the square with a direct view of the exhibition rooms in the underpass and asks who is hidden under the veil of the robe and who concealed the figure.

The work was deliberately destroyed by strangers in the night of the opening. This was foreseeable and taken into account according to the concept of the two-week exhibition "Alles Andere", for which this work was developed. The fact that this attack happened only hours after the opening was nevertheless impressive. In order to restore a little dignity to the destroyed figure, I removed the damaged stryroporous body, fixed the garment to the remaining base with screws, and from then on documented the further developments. Only with this documentation did the work mature into its actual intention and statement.

Alles Andere - an exhibition in public space at Ebertplatz, 7.- 20. July 2018

Participating artists:
Tobias Becker, Julia Bünnagel, Pascal Fendrich, Diane Müller, Linda Nadji, Martin Plüddemann, Winterkälte

Ebertplatzpassage, 50668 Köln

Current developments at Ebertplatz: www.unser-ebertplatz.de