Photo Essay

"Horizon Field" - Photography and fun in Hamburg

Horizon Field in Hamburg 001

If you feel you are moving at dizzying heights, where normally the birds fly, but you're experiencing yourself at the same time as an ant, then you do not suffer any schizophrenia of prospects, but you are more likely in the "Horizon Field" at the Deichtorhalle in Hamburg. In this old market hall, converted into an exhibition space, hangs a platform of birch plywood about 7.4 meters above the ground level, covered with a polyurethane resin plate: 4890 x 2490 x 206 cm. In the event brochure Antony Gormley, the author of the installation says: "The entire project could be seen as the translation of a vast painting into a literal sounding board for the spirit and consciousness of the viewer. There is no subject of this work other than the people who participate in and on it."

The revolution in photographic techniques during the last decade has been paralleled by a strong impetus to the evolution of perception, which now claims complementary exhibition events by the users. The new image formats require new forms of aesthetic experience with situations. And with this project a healthy reversal was achieved: the public, armed with digital cameras, does not bother the pictures of an exhibition any longer, but people stand, walk, sit or lie on and in the very image. Since documenta12, five years ago, I tried to call attention to this problem in several places, to get the photographic activity out of the audience, away from the exhibitions, to assist it in own places, designated as hotspots, and to create an alternative offer for the "instant-addicts." Also in this "Art-Space" a similar distraction, much like the present, was required during the exhibition of "Julia Stoschek Collection", to avoid people with cameras constantly before your eyes.

For the realization of the idea "Horizon Field" it was necessary to reach wide spread interaction among many: A gallery, the Nordmetall Foundation, the Cultural Foundation of Germany, structural engineers, other sponsors and volunteers, who have achieved not only an exemplary work of contemporary design with a "public participation" (the famous "audience participation of Frank Zappa), including the communicative success of the project has been extended on several levels. But how many good ideas in our art history have been as visions in the imagination of artists, without being made? - How many ideas with a similar and innovative character were ridiculed by museums? - Why does this change appear precisely in crisis? - Or is this only a modest gesture of social smiles? - In any case, it is a very audience-friendly PR event, that helps on top of that to keep the costs down in the summer.

A suggestion in this context might also be: The Museum of unrealized projects during the twentieth century. For example Kurt Schwitters, who died on January the 8th of 1948, has arrived to receive an appropriate recognition in his hometown of Hanover during the World Expo in 2000. "World Capital of philistinism" was a comment about "MADE IN GERMANY ZWEI" in the blog of ZEITonline. But in our "human parks" of Hamburg and many other cities, the presidents of the "small breeding associations" have their faithful and domesticated primates anywhere, and it is more than likely that a similar project would have never been done in this format, if it would have been presented by creative people from the same city. It seems unfortunately to miss the power of an intuitive intelligence or intelligent intuition, as it was recommended by Aristotle for the solution of creative tasks in antiquity.

The exhibition hall of "Horizon Field" may only be entered barefoot. Children under the age of 12 can enter when accompanied by an adult. Jumping on the platform and swinging up an down at the ends of the platform is not allowed. No admission granted to visitors under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There is a blog (www.horizonfieldhamburg.com), where the impressions and images can be shared, but instead of a dividing wall, with screens showing these images, between the hall and the way to the wardrobe, there is only a rope very tatty. However, in June they had a very interesting additional program, and also for the month of August is scheduled a series of activities: Thoughts flying - philosophizing with children, a fashion show, a concert, a dance workout and a workshop for metal "space frame". Until September 9, 2012 it is possible to acceed to the "Horizon Field" and its Foto-Moto-Fun in Hamburg (free admission).

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