Detlef Hartung – Georg Trenz


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ROSENDÄMMERUNG
competition Leuchtzeichen 2005, in occasion of the national exhibition Jahrhundertschritt 05,
public space, Oldenburg 2005

Quotations from fairy tales were to be found on paths all over Oldenburg. Direct speech from fairy tale characters from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen or fairy tales from Lower Saxony. All the characters are on their way somewhere, or sending someone on their way, and addressing existential questions:
Where do I come from, where am I going, and what am I doing here anyway?
The quotations form a ring — intended as a band of language — around Oldenburg old town, linking up its various cultural and social institutions. At first each of these texts referred to itself and its place, communicating with and commenting on its location.

Real places became backdrops for fairy tales: the castle, the witch's house, the bridge, the underpass etc. Quotations from fairy tales and historical language became contemporary statements:
“Behold, that is how the world behaves!”,
“What business have you on the mountain?”...
But then the texts suddenly pointed out beyond themselves and back to their point of origin. Each piece of text acquired an arrow, a visual symbol of movement. This arrow always pointed directly back to the centre of the “rose quarter”

Every long walk is a learning process. The textual quotations around the old town sharpened the eye and trained language. It was only in this way that the last quotation, the only one without an arrow, directly in the middle of Rosenstrasse, did not become a declaration of bankruptcy, but a challenge to act:

“WHAT, THERE AREN‘T ANY ROSES HERE?”
(H. C. Andersen, the Snow Queen).

 

Bridge Staugraben, near Osterstrasse
Brothers Grimm: The Owl
“IF SOMEBODY WOULD STAND
WHERE I‘M STANDING
HE WOULD NOT SHOUT ‘PUSH’.”

Totally there were about 79 texts attached on the pavements of the inner town
 


 


 

Corner Rosenstraße
Gebr. Grimm: Hänsel and Gretel
“WE WILL FIND THE WAY.”

Harbourpromenade⁄ corner Labour Exchange
Brothers Grimm:
The Four Artful Brothers
“DEAR CHILDREN
NOW I MUST GO OUT INTO THE WORLD,
I HAVE NOTHING
I COULD GIVE YOU”
 


 


 

End Harbourpromenade
Fairy tales from lower Saxony: Farmer Phiwitt
“WHERE TO, WHERE TO?”
“INTO THE WATER, INTO THE WATER!”

Rear of Castle
Fairy tale from Lower Saxony:
The Lord as Godfather
“WHAT USE IS THE BEAUTIFUL CASTLE TO US,
IF WE DON'T KNOW,
WHERE THE KEYS ARE?”

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