Hamburg: The sculpture from the underground

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Hamburg Anarchic artist action

The sculpture from the underground

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Mysterious bronze man at the Rödingsmarkt in Hamburg Mysterious bronze man at the Rödingsmarkt in Hamburg

The bronze statue, still without a barrier

Source: dpa / Daniel Reinhardt

Maybe a Banksy? An anonymous artist has set up a “bronze man” under a subway line in Hamburg. The district office locks up for safety’s sake – and is now examining the incident first.

Anarchic artist action at Rödingsmarkt: on Tuesday night an anonymous sculptor parked his “bronze man” under the subway bridge at Rödingsmarkt behind a pillar. Something like this can happen when a subway travels high up on a viaduct.

Otherwise, the sculpture is more likely to be located in the entertainment sector than in serious art: the figure, representing an anonymous sprayer holding a paint can in his hand, has a barcode on its chest to identify the Instagram address of its creator. The title of the work is therefore “Content?”, The name of the artist “Mohamed Smith”. Possibly a pseudonym or even a stage name.

District hides sculpture behind cordon

The cultural authority calmly refers to the jurisdiction of the district office, which has cordoned off the figure and determines how to proceed with the figure, the cultural authority and the artist. Unfortunately, the barriers largely hide the sculpture, which thus shows a superbly hidden sprayer, rather a piece of him.

Now the district is investigating a number of questions and collecting experience with the unapproved special use of the public area. Should an acute danger arise, for example because art lovers keep walking on the road to take selfies with the “bronze man” (possibly a brass bronze), the district would remove him. Increased rear-end collisions in front of the speed camera, which is right next to the figure and is not considered art in public space, would also be a reason to intervene. Not even the question of whether the artist intends to donate his work to the city has not yet been clarified.

Does the art commission step in?

Otherwise, the district tries to clarify together with the cultural authority how to deal with unsolicited art in public space in the future. Because there is an elaborate official procedure with the participation of an art commission, which meets twice a year, for the establishment of the same. It was understandably ignored.

In view of the recent art escalation on the street, however, it would make sense to create a Hamburg art tribunal (for supporters of the revolution) or an art censor (for partisans of the reaction), which each make quick judgments about anarchically positioned sculptures and refer them either to a pedestal or to the junkyard .

Is the sculpture a real Banksy?

Whereby the quality of the work of “Mr. Smith ”has aroused admiration among experts. This is the finest sculpture, neatly cast and polished. Hopefully no anonymous art lover will steal the anonymous sprayer as long as it is – not screwed – directly at the intersection of Willy-Brandt- and Ludwig-Erhard-Straße intersection Rödingsmarkt. Guesses are making the rounds.

Is the author of the sculpture the sprayer and street artist Banksy, who switched from stencil graffiti to sculpture? In Hamburg, too, the world-famous artist has already immortalized himself very close to the place where the sculpture is placed or set up. Or is it a Banksy free rider who wants to shake up society with sculptures. Or a fan. Who knows.

The precedent in Bremen ends in ramparts

Incidentally, in a deceptively similar action in Bremen four months ago, a bronze suddenly appeared that was bent over and pushed a shopping cart. There the artist reported occasionally to the cultural authority and provided information about the nature of the figure. The Senate recently decided to keep the bronze and is currently having it prepared for permanent installation in the ramparts. Dark premonitions arise: Will the anonymous sprayer also end up in ramparts, just in Hamburg?

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