He does not want to prejudge any political decision. This is how alexander ochs-barwinek explains why he created the fiber-glass sculptures of the installation "meeting at the schonleinsplatz not yet replaced by a more robust version dear.
Eight weeks ago, when the show "circles", which he curated with numerous contemporary exhibits, the bamberg-born artist had announced this to galleries in berlin and beijing.
The background to this was, on the one hand, initial wishes that had been voiced for the exhibit by wang shugang to remain, and on the other hand, the damage that had been caused when individual figures from the eight-part group were removed.
With a bronze cast execution, long-fingered people no longer had an easy game and the squatting red men were better able to withstand wind and weather as well as caresses and climbing children.
"The work is cast and in germany. It could be made available very quickly", said the gallery owner and collector in a telephone interview with the local editorial office. What he is still waiting for are clear signals from the city council and from the people.
City helps organizationally
One thing is already certain. The municipality itself will not give any euros for a possible purchase. This was emphasized once again by city hall spokeswoman ulrike siebenhaar when asked.
However, the city wants to help bring together potential sponsors and godparents: it is organizing a so-called supporter event, which will take place as early as next friday at 19.30 o'clock at the theater-treff.
Then a possible purchase of the "red mannla" will be discussed will be discussed. Everyone who would like to keep them in bamberg and/or is willing to contribute to the costs is invited, says siebenhaar. Besides lord mayor andreas starke (SPD) and cultural advisor burgermeister werner hipelius (CSU), ochs-barwinek and representatives of the art association and the professional association of fine artists (BBV) came and joined the discussion.
Cultural senate meets on thursday
Only one day before, on 17. October, the city council's cultural senate deals with the future of the artwork. Because it has been very popular from the first day on and is real art "to touch" the administration has decided to hold the "meeting" would like to continue indefinitely. Provided that the city does not incur any costs.
This is also done by the committee "art in public space", which advises the municipal policy (kior) to the condition. Should a purely private financing succeed, the kior also recommends that the installation remain, unanimously.
However, the committee suggests a different location so that the schonlein square is not overloaded, it can continue to be used for temporary exhibitions and the flow of tourists is equalized. As alternatives, kior suggests the panorama terrace on the michelsberg, the area in front of the justice building on wilhelmsplatz and the geyersworth rose garden. The administration will propose to the cultural senate to discuss the alternatives together with the curator and the artist.
Limited to three casts
About the purchase price for the "meeting" ochs-barwinek did not give any information when asked; first the members of the cultural senate are to find out on thursday, he said. Ochs, however, reiterated his promise made in the summer that he would make financial concessions to his hometown of bamberg, should there be a fundraising campaign to purchase the "red mannla" give.
Bamberg would then be richer by an exclusive work of art. The bronze casting already made was the third and last of a limited edition of three: the first two belong to the canadian city of vancouver and a company collection zurich-london.
And what if the bambergers do not want to or are not able to raise the necessary sum?? Then, according to ochs-barwinek, he will have the fiberglass work of art picked up from schonleinsplatz and offer the bronze casting on the international art market.