“Peace and democracy“ was the motto of the monumental works made of local red sandstone or steel
The 14th Rhineland-Palatinate Sculpture Symposium took place in the summer of 2023 (July 30 to August 26) near the city of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Five international artists came together in the quarry of the Carl Picard Natursteinwerk company and created their monumental sculptures from the local Schweinstal red sandstone in the open air and in the presence of visitors. The finished works have since been set up in picturesque locations in the surrounding area.
The symposium takes place every two to three years. The 2023 motto was “Peace and Democracy.“ We show the artists and their works:
“Lapi-Log / Lapi-Liege,“ is the title of the work by Birgit Cauer (Germany). She has carved a cocoon-like cavity out of the 200 x 150 x 300 cm sandstone block. Two people can sit in it and rest or engage in conversation. It is located in the municipality of Dörrmoschel in the Donnersberg district. There are war bunkers there with which other associations can arise.
Markus Sauermann (Germany): “East-West.” The sculpture comprises two yellow sandstone steles that face each other and are perhaps engaged in a dialog. The roughly carved cuboids suggest cubist figures – all further interpretation is left to the viewer. The sculpture is located near the moated castle in Reipoldskirchen (Kusel district).
Chris Peterson’s (The Netherlands): “Vogelvrij / Vogelfrei” (Free as a Bird) is a massive sandstone block, one side of which is open to a dark interior. On entering, visitors are deprived of one of their main senses, sight. Focusing on their other senses, i.e. smell, hearing, touch/feeling, they explore the interior and find small holes in the stone opposite the entrance. These are a kind of negative Braille that reproduces the title of the work across the entire side surface. The stone is located in the municipality of Schmalenberg in the district of Süd-Westpfalz.
The “Angel of Peace Protects the World“ by Christian Hinz (Germany) invites the viewer to interact with it: The two large sandstone blocks with their half shells can serve as acoustic sound amplifiers or equally be the suggestion of a pair of wings. They also create a small, protected space for visitors to the site in the municipality of Rodenbach (Kaiserslautern district).
Aleksandar Eftimovski (North Macedonia) did not work in stone. His steel sculpture entitled “Reverse Rotatio“ stands in the Eselsfürth highway traffic circle, heading out of town towards Sembach. It appears to be a conventional drill, albeit greatly enlarged. However, it has a left-hand thread – this misleads perception and calls into question what is perceived.
Sculpture Association Rhineland-Palatinate
The initiator of the symposium is the Rhineland-Palatinate Sculpture Association, whose founder and president for many years was the head of the natural stone company, Jürgen Picard. Since 1986, over 70 large sculptures have emerged from the symposia. They can be found in the landscape or in the villages from Johanniskreuz via Kaiserslautern to Kollweiler. The company donates the stones, and during the symposium the sculptors are accommodated in their residential and administrative buildings.
The Picard company extracts its red sandstone exclusively from its own quarries and uses it to create cladding for exterior facades or interior walls, flooring, stair coverings and windowsills, as well as products for gardens and parks. It also uses the quarry in Schweinstal, not far from Krickenbach, for concerts, performances, illuminations, installations and even sculpture symposia.
The motto of these cultural events, which have an impact beyond the region, is: “The tension between the force of nature and the power of machines provides an impressive setting for all kinds of art and culture.“
Skulpturenverein Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (German)
(07.02.2024, USA: 02.07.2024)