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Sol LeWitt

Lost Voices

13.3. 29.5.2005

For the duration of his exhibition, Sol LeWitt has altered the interior space of the synagogue in Stommeln in a radical way. His striking intervention in the spatial structure consists of a high, solidly masoned wall which extends across the entire width of the former sacred space, thus making about two-thirds of it completely inaccessible. What we are dealing with here is not an autonomous “sculpture” that has been placed into the space, but with what in many senses is an incisive construction measure. Having passed through the entrance into the building and crossed the small corridor with a staircase to the wooden gallery, the 4.5-meter-high wall made of reddish firebrick completely blocks one's view to the right and also prohibits advancing any farther into the space. The spatial experience otherwise so important upon entering buildings of this kind—the “opening out” of one's view towards the east, and with it the opportunity of first visually and then physically striding through and appreciating the space—cannot perforce ensue. One finds oneself standing at somewhat of a loss before carefully flushed, rough brickwork such as one also finds on the outside walls of the old building. At issue here is obviously not just an optical or a haptic experience, but rather the physical experience of confinement, the feeling of being locked in or locked out. The kindly disposed visitors who expose themselves to this quite provocative situation (pro-vocare = to call forth) are left with a section of space only about three meters wide directly beyond the entrance area of the old building. If one directs one's attention upwards, one sees the dark gallery, which—as was Sol LeWitt's express wish—is inaccessible for the duration of this exhibition. What remains is only a narrow, light strip between the brick wall and the edge of the gallery, which enables looking up at the white ceiling of the synagogue. However, what also occurs is an acoustic experience of a special nature, because from the very beginning one hears music that fills the space. It sounds like religious choral music—stately ceremonial sounds—and in between one also hears the shofar, the ram’s horn customarily used in Jewish liturgy.

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Diashow (3 Pictures)

Synagogue Stommeln, Sol LeWitt, Installation View

Installation View

Synagogue Stommeln, Sol LeWitt, Installation View

Installation View