Juan Garaizbal: Wandering Church
27 Jan – 18 Apr 2011
Spanish conceptual artist will present on the top floor of the DOX tower
a monumental project, whose central idea is to highlight defunct buildings, monumental absences in urban areas, and energies that are generated around them. In 2008 Garaizabal introduced a project called Memoria Urbana. Using an iron construction fitted with light and acoustic elements to show their spirit, Garaizabal materializes already vanished buildings that once were of great importance. The initial impetus was the belief and personal look of the author that the project "must be realized".
The lost Czech Bethlehem Church (Böhmische-Bethlehemskirche) that was in Berlin and was part of Czech-German history, was a unique building. Thanks to the generosity of King Frederick William the 1st, Czech refugees who left their homeland because of religious reasons were admitted in the Friedrichstadt District in Berlin. Two years ago, Garaizabal began to look for signs of missing Berlin church and collected numerous documents found in Berlin and the Czech Republic. The final aim is once again to portray the church in its original size (a height of 30m) and its original location in Berlin. The project is preceded by the presentation of its model in Prague, the capital city of Bohemia. It is the region from which the refugees came, and which was an inspiration for aesthetic and ethical content of the original church.
The exhibition at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art presents the creative process of the artist´s work, a model of "Understanding Bethlehemskirche" with a height of 4.75 meters. 10 accompanying artworks are an integral part of the installation.