[artinfo] Jochen Gerz, Square of the European Promise in Bochum
info at e-artnow.org
Tue Dec 1 12:45:25 CET 2015
An artwork by many and a central site for the European idea
Square of the European Promise by Jochen Gerz
Inauguration on 11 December 2015 at 5 pm, Bochum, Germany
"Just like the stars give their light to the night,
people give their promises to the future."
An artwork by many and a central site for the
European idea - in 2004 the citizens of Bochum in
the Ruhr-area of Germany first followed the
invitation of internationally renowned artist
Jochen Gerz and gave a promise to Europe.
Everyone kept their promise to themselves, but
the names of those who pledged were inscribed
into the ground of a new square - the Square of
the European Promise.
As people from the region, Germany and later from
all over Europe continued to participate,
thousands of names filled the square. Today, with
14.726 names engraved in the 63 giant basalt
stone plates on the 3.000 sqm square in the city
centre, each representing a different and
personal contribution, the square has become
It took eleven years to finalise the
participatory work commissioned by the city of
Bochum. And, like so many times before in its
history, Europe has changed during those years.
What does that mean for the promises given at the
turn of the century? What kind of future did the
citizens of Europe imagine?
Throughout the years the question the Square of
the European Promise asks remains the same. And
everyone visiting or passing it in the future
will find themselves answering it in one way or
another. What is your contribution to the future
today? The future belongs to those who imagine it
today. The new square is a monument for something
that does not yet exist.
Just like Jochen Gerz' iconic commemorative works
- the Monument against Fascism in Hamburg-Harburg
(1986) which has been hidden in the ground for
many years now, or the Monument against Racism in
Saarbrücken (1995) - the Square of the European
Promise also plays with the invisible, the
temporal and the contributions of living people.
No other public square is the work of so many and
no other square is dedicated, not to the dead,
but to the living.
The lighting concept is the creation of French
designer Laurent Fachard, who previously lit the
facade of the Elysée-Palace in Paris, and plans
for the Square of the European Promise were
developed by Soan Architects.
On 11 December 2015 at 5 pm the Square of the
European Promise will be inaugurated.
Square of the European Promise
Christuskirche Bochum / City Hall
44787 Bochum - Centre
The Square of the European Promise is a public
authorship project by Jochen Gerz, commissioned
by the city of Bochum and funded by the federal
state government of North-Rhine-Westphalia,, the
city and the protestant church of Bochum. The
square finalises the Cultural Capital Year RUHR.
2010. (Kulturhauptstadtjahr RUHR.2010.)
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