I was invited last winter to a group exhibition in Worpswede, a small town in the north of germany, very close to the city of Bremen. The idea was to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the death of painter Paula Modersohn - Becker.
After intensly walking the streets of worpswede in search of a potential space to work in, I found my self looking at the enourmous amount of street signs that crowd the view of the streets, telling you where and how to look and move through space. On one of those attempts at getting lost I found myself looking at the signs themselves, at the amount, at the shapes, at the information they carry and then, in that common place, in an unexpected turn, at the grey space hidden in their backside, at the grey surfaces that are always there but somehow invisible, camouflaged within the constructed landscape we are so used to.
Then started the question of what to do with this realization, of how to make this space 'alive' but yet undisturbed. But how to point at something without intruding it? when there is so many information already why does it make sense to add more?
Somehow on the process I had to overcome this questions, I guess is very true that the space is overcrowded, but when a poetic gap is opened, you can see something in a different way. As artists I think we have the power to interrupt the everyday, the people, the flow of something, to make something else visible; a brief moment of understanding that perhaps turns into a story, a comment, a conversation, perhaps only you change but certainly at the end energy is moving.
In a delicate but subversive way I use this forgotten space to question and subvert the functionality and language of signs in public space; through small subtle interventions I try to silently make visible this spaces, delicately inhabiting them and thus leading to a new direction in the streets.
Over the period of one week I work on the Grey surface of the street signs of one street in Worpswede, Germany (the Bergstraße). The signs where cleaned and in some cases adhesive vinyl cuts where applied, in others the drawings where made in the spot, with ink pens or by the cleaning itself. At the end it was as if the ’nature’ was taking over the constructed ‘landscape’ again. July 2007.
Variable dimensions. Adhesive vinyl cuts, ink, found dirt and moos on the backside of street signs. Worpswede (Bergstraße), Germany. July 2007
*This work is part of the exhibition 'Life goes Public' /10 public art interventions to update Paula Modersohn-Becker in Worpswede". within the context of the project: Leben! PMB in Worpswede. July2007-February 2008.