1. Built environment
  2. Architecture & design
June 23, 2015updated 20 Jul 2021 2:31pm

An Argentian artist is suspending an entire house above the German town of Karlsruhe

By City Monitor Staff

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that if you pulled an entire house out of the ground – you know, if that was the sort of thing you were minded to do, for some strange reason we’re a bit frightened to guess at – that what you’d find underneath it would be, well, some kind of foundations. Y’know, that the base would be all bricks and bits of crumbling concrete.

But no, look at that. Turns out houses have roots. Who knew?

This picture shows an art installation by the Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich. It’s called “Pulled By the Roots”, and despite what you may think, this photo doesn’t show the artwork being manoeuvred into position: this is it, this is the final product. It’s an entire house, hanging from a crane above the south west German town of Karlsruhe.

Pretty cool, huh? Here’s some blurb:

Inspired by one of architect Friedrich Weinbrenner’s historical structures, the building, together with its massive root system, quite literally appears to be ripped out of a row of neighboring houses.

With this work, Erlich – well-known throughout the world for his hyperreal sculptures and installations – explicitly addresses global themes, such as uprooting, migration, or simulation.

By drawing on the crane in the context of construction measures in Karlsruhe inner city, he utilizes a key civil engineering tool, thereby adding a provocative element which, in the first instance, makes one think that the crane driver has made a mistake.

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Well, yeah.

This is the key work in an entire exhibition of construction-inspired artworks in Karlsruhe this summer, Die Stadt ist der Star (“The City Is The Star”).

The exhibition also features Johan Lorbeer’s “Tarzan/Standbein”, in which he “puts human perception to the test” (yes) by appearing to levitate:

Image: ZKM Karlsruhe.

Swiss performance artist Chantal Michel will infiltrate the building sites of Karlsruhe as a “foreign body”:

Image: ZKM Karlsruhe.

And a “luminous sound UFO” will appear in front of the Natural History Museum, as part of Tim Otto Roth’s Heaven’s Carousel:

Image: ZKM Karlsruhe.

It’s not entirely clear that everyone in Karlsruhe is aware all this is happening. One of the other sculptures in the exhibition was the imaginatively named work “Truck”, produced by Austrian artists Erwin Wurm.

It’s, well, a truck, except that it does this to the wall of a building:

Image :Uli Deck/AFP/Getty.

Anyway, design magazine Colossal reported last night that some enterprising local traffic warden had seen their opportunity to make a few quid out of the situation and issued it with a ticket:

CityMetric cannot at time of writing rule out the possibility that this ticket is itself a form of art.

The City is the Star – Art at the Construction site” will run in Karlsruhe until 27 September.

This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.
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