I saw the sign for this artwork before I noticed the artwork itself. Yes, I noticed the ground being stirred up in a way like someone went through it with a plow. I felt irritated about the rudeness and the disturbance of this otherwise perfectly maintained open-air sculpture park along the river banks of the Rhine in Cologne.
It took a while before I realized that this track was the art work, called Spur by Lois Weinberger.
A search on the internet taught me that Lois Weinberger is an Austrian artist born in 1947. He describes himself as a field worker. Nature, especially unspoiled nature and weeds, are often part of his artworks. He likes to tear up a piece of ground, and let nature have its course after that. He does not enjoy sculptured landscapes and nature, but prefers unspoiled nature not touched by human hands. His personal website states that: In 1991-92 he designed the WILD CUBE, a rib steel enclosure for spontaneous vegetation to grow without human intervention — a RUDERAL SOCIETY that creates a gap in the urban environment. Nature is allowed to be free within the cage, keeping the humans away from her.
Philippe van Cauteren, curator for the exhibition The city, My Studio/The City, My Life at the Patan Museum in Nepal wrote about Lois Weinberger: Weeds, migration and cities. How nature, cities and culture interfere. These are some elements that summarize the works of Lois Weinberger. The artist has an eye for peripheral nature. Not the noble and beautiful flowers we all like, but the weeds and the herbs that get little attention. These are for Lois Weinberger a metaphor for society…..At the same time, Weinberger’s work also explores the meaning of concepts such as nature, culture, order, or chaos. This point of view becomes particularly clear in his Wild Cubes: steel cages that enclose nothing, but rather humanity is being locked out. Weinberger gives wilderness space; he breaks free of the urban and questions man’s ubiquitous striving for complete control.
While I was staring at the wild weeds and flowers in this otherwise perfectly maintained Open-air sculpture park in Cologne, I realized that he made me think about nature, That I was confronted with imperfection in a perfect environment, but what element is the imperfect one?
I found his artwork at the free Open-Air Sculpture Park in Cologne. More about my visit to the sculpture park, you will findd here. Visit the website Skulpturenparkkoeln.de for opening hours and current exhibition.