Hamburg 2015. Wandsbek1. Public space installation
Excavation pit 3m x 3m x 3 m. Chrome, spotlight.

 

An excavation pit in the middle of the pavement along with all its exposed service pipes and sewage pipes has been completely lined with high gloss finished silver chrome right up to the upper edge of the pavement. Instead of looking down onto damp, brown earth one looks into a mirror that reflects a distorted image of its surroundings.

Hamburg 2015. Wandsbek1. Public space installation
Excavation pit 3m x 3m x 3 m. Chrome, spotlight.

 

Construction work had been going on for a long time in Wandsbek, now the “boulevard” with its fine, new stone pavement is finished, people can take a stroll,  - there's money to be spent, let's keep the cash tills ringing.

But now this: Not another construction site? On the pavement under a street light there is a hole in the ground. It has been unspectacularly marked as a construction site with waist-high red and white barriers which hinder a fast exit from the Wandsbek Markt underground station. Light seems to shine out of the pit; being curious, people step nearer to have a look. The walls of the hole in the ground are covered with a reflecting high gloss finished layer of chrome that moulds the form of the opening completely along with its exposed service and sewage pipes. The mirroring layer of chrome covers all the materials – earth, stone, and plastic pipes - and ends precisely at the edge of the paving stones. The chrome creates a disquieting, reflecting surface which makes the surroundings part of the hole, depicting and distorting them.Every city has on both physical and other levels wounds and holes which are perceptible in daily life, but remain strangely unexpressed and undealt with. One of the impulses for the intervention Shining void is to broach the topic of this form of absence by creating a special void. Shining void eats its way quasi into the body of the town, conserving and refining the “injury” and thereby questioning its solid foundation.On the other hand, the installation forms a hidden highlight in the environment that first has to be discovered. The excavation is something foreign that has found its way into the centre of town and with its apparently futuristic surface has as it were become fused with its surroundings. Shining void encaptures this special event: A site has been created.

Perhaps when viewing the shining void some might also think of a silver mine and the hope of prosperity it offers Wandbek’s old and new “gold diggers” in the former outskirts of Hamburg.