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Monday, 9 November 2009

Fall of the Berlin Wall “Work in Progess” by Manon Awst and Benjamin Walther

Manon Awst and Benjamin Walther Photo: © ArtLyst 2009 Text By Paul Carter Robinson

The Fall of the Berlin Wall was commemorated today with a “Work in Progress” by Manon Awst and Benjamin Walther. The giant ice sculpture was erected in Belgrave Square a London park close to the German embassy to mark this important 20th century event.see video on:
When I spoke to the artists they had been up all night constructing the project."We had lots of coffee and are very pleased with the outcome of the installation".
The Official launch took place this morning with Duncan Sandys, Lord Mayor of Westminster together with Ben Bradshaw, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and German Ambassador Georg Boomgaarden, who organized the event to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.This high profile art event utilized the backdrop of an 11.5 ft melting Ice Wall to point out the fragility of society in the 21st century. Walther explained, "there are still many walls around the world in need of demolition".

About the Artists:
Berlin-based husband and wife team Manon Awst and Benjamin Walther are sculptural performance artists who incorporate material such as gelatin, ice, gold, glass, and feathers into their investigations of power dynamics and the divisions between our bodies and our consciousness.

About the art work

The art installation “Work in Progess” was created by artists Manon Awst, UK, and Benjamin Walther, Germany, in cooperation with the company Eskimo Ice. A frozen 11.5 ft high fragment of a wall made out of ice will look as though it is about to crumble and fall. The image will be captured still, freeze-framed, to allow a moment of hesitation and reflection upon what is the continuous process of German unification, a continuum of both time and the German people themselves. The setting for the wall is a typical roadwork site, highlighting factors of process and time. Within the
fenced boundaries of the site, under the theatrical air of bright industrial lamps, a string of subtle, playful happenings will take place over the course of the day that hint at the chain of events that was finally able to melt the ice and bring the Cold War era to an end.
Creating an installation for this occasion not only provides scope to reflect on a powerful symbol which was once the expression of the political and ideological separation of the world, but also demands consideration of the divisions which still exist today. During the course of the day, the appearance and perception of the installation will gradually change: the ice wall will alter due to the subtle melting process, and external factors such as day and night, weather and passing traffic will all contribute to the peculiar character of the setting. The overall fleeting nature of the installation suggests that boundaries – both physical as well as mental and emotional ones – can be overcome.

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