07-Jun-2007

Monument - Denkmal

Whilst visiting the Soviet Memorial in Treptower Park I was struck by the enormity of the space and by the position of the two sculptures of the soviet soldiers. Their bowed heads reminded me of the bowed heads of the pansies, as mentioned below the pansy was named after the French verb; to think = Penser. Interestingly the German for monument is ‘denkmal’ presumably connected with the German ‘denken’ to think. In reference to the pansy the connection that then came to be associated with ‘thoughtful’ or ‘effeminate’ men is generally seen as a negative trait; hence the derogatory term. In this context of national remembering the thoughtful man is esteemed and revered. As seen in the image below the nature of the project generally requires a viewer to look down and appear to be thoughtful whilst considering the work, this is why I chose to place the posters on the floor of the gallery (image above). In the image below the viewer is not seeing the pansies circling the bollard but his position makes him appear thoughtful. I’m interested in this appearance of thoughtfulness and its negative/positive connotations especially in relation to sexuality.