Shallow/Depths

competitions

Shallow/Depths

competitions

Interspace relief

1st place in the art-in-architecture competition "Herrichtung des Hauses 2" at Mauerstra├če 27 to accommodate the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Ministry of Health, September 2019

 

The inverse relief "Shallows/Depths" is realized on the front wall of the cupola hall in the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs. From a distance, visitors initially experience a light, swirling swarm of circular deeps, which become recognizable as oversized boreholes when approached. The close-up view shows the working traces: chipped paint, chapped edges, drilling burrs and the rotation marks of the drilling tools.

Despite its shallow depth (of approx. 4.5 cm), the work appears very spatial, playing with the ambiguity of the German term "Untiefe", which can mean dangerous shallowness and colloquially bottomless depth. It can be interpreted as a performative allegory of plural democracy: what appears from a distance as a harmonious interplay, reveals itself from close up in its complexity and intricacy. The indefinite form of the borehole swarm can be interpreted as an analogy to the emergence of ever new, more differentiated positions in social space. Just as the boreholes represent a real attack on materiality such as the stability of the wall, so an ever greater differentiation causes the dissolution of simple, binding norms. The effects are unpredictable and the edges are undefined.