Allgemein, überdiesAn englishman in Mannheim:

14th of June, 2017

Günter Braun’s 2.4 meter high, 2 ton, granite sculpture „September 11th

is situated deep inside Luisenpark, Mannheim.  Braun evokes images of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre by arranging two monolithic geometric shapes separated by a fracture.  The sculpture serves as a peace memorial for the people of Mannheim. On first seeing it, and the other sculptures that are dotted around the park, I was captivated.  The sculptures give you the feeling of being on an artistic treasure hunt.  Around every corner and every tree one begins to expect another artistic experience.  The curators of the park have done a wonderful job.  They have provided the people of Mannheim with an astonishing array of sculptures that vary in materials, styles, size and themes.

What is unique in this setting is the way one can experience the art.  Not only do you have the opportunity to touch the art, to get a sense of its physicality, but often there is no one else looking at it.  One can appreciate the art without having concerns over time restraints or whether one is simply in the way of anyone else: something I increasingly feel in the more touristic art galleries.

One often struggles to see a whole sculpture in a single view in Luisenpark.  Many are now overgrown with tree branches and bushes but this seems to add to their overall effect.  One has to work for these artistic experiences.  The pieces have been accepted by their environment and have become one with it.  Many show signs of Father Time at work.  Weathering and sun bleaching act similar to tree rings, giving us a concept of age to the metallic sculptures. The sculptures are brought to life by their ever changing environment and weather conditions.

Sadly, I rarely saw anyone stop and take time to appreciate them fully.  The animals, the water, the trees and the flowers in Luisenpark are wonderful to explore, especially this time of year, but I do recommend you enter the park at least once with the sole purpose of seeing the sculptures.  Sit and take time to be in their presence, and experience how they collaborate with the natural world around them to form ever changing art.

Daniel Farrimond

Image Copyright : Günter Braun