On Monday, the award for Best Supporting Actor also goes to the work of Josep Renau, which can still be found in the facade of a prefabricated East German building in Halle-Neustadt. The wall mosaic is called “the forces of nature and man-controlled technology” and from today’s perspective, we must say, socialism is pretty stupid with one of its central theses. Humans clearly have no control over either of this or that, and often enough even for themselves anymore. Of course, you could lie to yourself about the retro-futuristic art of prefabs as a fantasy of a better world – but the real Snake in Immigration office entrance can hardly be hidden at the edge of the picture in this – “Am Stadion 5” – just like other parts of the city administration.
This is true insofar as the city bears 200,000 euros and therefore 20 per cent of the total costs incurred for a facelift a few more metres. The main thing about this visit is something that you can’t see at the moment because it has already been cemented. The outer casing of the second stairwell is made of the mosaic of the wall “Unit of the Working Class and the Foundation of the German Democratic Republic”, also designed by Renau. It is due to be restored by the end of this year as a memorial.
But how do you restore such a huge puzzle, where all the pieces are the same size (as in the house in the bathroom 15 x 15 cm) and yet each one is unique? This mosaic consists of 10,904 rough stoneware tiles that, although they were mass-produced, were then individually designed with a faience glaze, depending on the space. East Germany survived the artwork that was commissioned in 1968 and completed in 1974, but after reunification it suffered a lot from constant change in weather and erosion, so art in buildings in the East was no different from the people.
Marx suffers from roof damage
Karl Marx was the most injured, no joke, even if Raphael Douth, one of the restorers working here, wouldn’t say so. Doths explains that the vast majority of the tiles are undamaged, with only about 500 pieces that must be completely reshaped and painted. But even if the tiles don’t slip and fall on the head of a wandering Halle resident, there may be sticking issues. In many cases, the mortar will have separated from the tile or facade, in such cases restorers are required as rock surgeons. First, the tiles are pressed for cavities, and where there are cavities, a hole is drilled in the joint to re-inject the tiles with injection glue.
In Halle you learn beautiful words, “the phenomenon of damage” and “artwork in urban space”
Greatest technical building site, as I said: Marx. Even the great Marx towers over the roof of the prefab, and here, too, greets the GDR belatedly, if you raise your head, then, of course, you will quickly encounter problems. Water could easily penetrate the splinters at the edge of the surface, there were frost cracks, and the salt was stored and pushed to the surface. As a result, Marx now suffers significant damage to the roof of the city of Halle. Raphael Douth calls it a “harmful phenomenon” and you should stock up on this term for the possible case that you want to politely insult someone again soon.
The origins of the glass, Marx’s scales, so to speak, lie on the table like a bag of lens chips at the press conference, otherwise one is once again immersed in these miserable daydreams, which, as a pernicious phenomenon, must soon be examined. By a talented plumber (m / w / d). It’s a really dangerous thing, after all, for he had briefly thought that it was possible upon his arrival that Michel Welbeck, as part of the Halle (Sal) press gang, would be an open-minded, who could still be dismissed with certainty in the world.
At second glance, things are clear (Houellebecq isn’t around, but a fellow local TV looks like him), but from a purely biographical point of view, it was Josep Renau Pinata and could appear again with Houellebecq. Educated at the Academy of Arts in Valencia, the communist Renau was a commercial artist and painter best known for designing the Spanish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1937. To avoid death, he fled to Mexico two years later and erected with the Familiar with Muralismo, a former Mexican revolutionary muralist.
When he moved there in 1958, Renau brought this art form with him from exile to the German Democratic Republic as an ideal mega-item. Renau designed a total of five murals for the German Democratic Republic, which, due to their transgression, were aptly called “urban art”. The work in Halle was Renau’s first major project in the GDR and his first ever exterior mural design.
Is it about coolness or cultural heritage?
Of course, the question arises of what motives are used to fix such a motive. After all, the GDR casts a shadow longer than the highest prefabricated buildings and in Hull, for example, there was a heated debate not only in the city council on the question of whether the new replacement building for the old planetarium should be named after the aviation cosmonaut Sigmund Jahn. In the end, the majority opposed.
Professor Philippe Kurz is allowed to speak on this question because he is the managing director of the Wüstenrot Foundation, which, according to Judith Marquardt, Halle’s deputy for culture, “makes up quite a lot” for the project, a symbol of: 80 percent or 800,000 euros. Anyway, Kurtz says there are enough projects today that are “more about cool than about cultural heritage,” about making something “instagramable” that’s been a dirty corner for long enough. Here, however, one is undoubtedly dealing with an “identity-forming cultural heritage” that is only partially preserved for the sake of the inhabitants. Of course it’s about them too, says Judith Marquardt, it’s about the “what you experienced is important” message. In this case, it is easier to preserve such a legacy because it is about a work of art and not about the personal reflective question of how much someone like Jan would be allowed to be exploited by the government of the GDR.
Professor Kurtz, who – where he has traveled so far – spontaneously attends a small guest lecture on the site, sees this difference. As Ossi, you have long been taught to remain silent at such moments and in this case the friendly guest really has something to say, eg that “A work of art which is a monument speaks to us only if we understand its historicity, if we understand and see, . . . …this is not a picture from today that looks beautiful and bright” – the artwork should “talk to us from a bygone era”, which is also why the ideological character loses its relevance over time, what remains and what is important is that “the quality of the art that is there.” And it is large, which is slowly being recognized outside the East as well. This renewal in Renau is not important for them, but, according to Kurz, also “for the general identity of the present Federal Republic”.
As for this overarching identity, soon everyone will have to broadly agree again. “Germany – The Big Tile Picture” Wouldn’t That Be a TV Thing, directed by Eternal Johannes B. Kerner? All Germans design tile, a crazy mosaic made of 83 million rough stoneware tiles from the Boizenburg factory in Mecklenburg. number? It was just a suggestion.