Memorial: Change of Perspectives
Via Lewandowsky, Michaela Melian, Judith Siegmund, Helmut und Johanna Kandl
From the perspective of contemporary art, the project deals with the modern-day perception and political assimilation of the Memorial to the Dead Soldiers of World War I at the Old Cemetery in Wurzen.
The monument was built in 1929/30, in remembrance of the more than 700 citizens of Wurzen who were killed in the First World War. The construction, built with funds donated by the Hermann-Ilgen Foundation, consists of a double bronze sculpture by Prof. Georg Wrba under a wide stone pointed arch, adjoined by a square courtyard to the north, formed with stone pillars linked together with architraves. The names of the dead and missing soldiers are chiselled into the inside of the pillars.
In the first phase of the project "Memorial: Change of Perspectives" (November 2010 – November 2011), four artists were invited to suggest ideas for new ways of looking at the historical monument created by the sculptor Georg Wrba. The ideas submitted by Helmut & Johanna Kandl, Via Lewandowsky, Michaela Melián and Judith Siegmund are based on the original intention of the memorial as a reminder "to render impossible ever again such sacrifices of the blood of humanity." (Lord Mayor Georg Boock, 1930) and invite the citizens of Wurzen to join in on a public discussion on memorial culture.
In 2012, a jury consisting of representatives of the Wurzen Alliance for Democracy against neo-Nazism, Neue Auftraggeber e.V. Berlin, town of Wurzen and the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig will recommend one of the project proposals to the Town Council Wurzen for implementation.
The patrons strive after a dialogue with the present perception of the Memorial of the Dead Soldiers of World War I at the Old Cemetery in Wurzen and its political incorporation from the perspective of contemporary art. According to the wishes of the patrons the intended project could significantly contribute to increase public awareness to this problem.
The proposed artists have created and presented designs for the project. No decision has been made on who will fund it.
Via Lewandowsky, b. Dresden, 1963, lives in Berlin. He works with performance, installation, object art, painting, sculpture, and photography.
Michaela Melián was born in Munich in 1956. She has been professor of time-based media at the University of Fine Arts (HFBK), Hamburg, since 2010.
Judith Siegmund, b. 1965, grew up in Rostock and lives in Berlin. She works as an artist and art theorist and teaches at the Berlin University of the Arts. Participation is crucial to her work.
Helmut & Johanna Kandl
Helmut Kandl, b. Laa an der Thaya, 1953, and Johanna Kandl, b. Vienna, 1954, live in Berlin and Vienna. They have worked on joint projects since 1997. Johanna and Helmut Kandl see art as a medium for encounters with countries and regions, with history, politics, and economics, with other people.