Magdeburg spaces : day one
I’m commissioned to make a new sonic bike work for an exhibition looking to dissolve the borders between visual arts and music at the Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieber Frauen (a former monastery) in Magdeburg. I know little about the city apart from the fact that it was in East Germany, sits on the river Elbe, was pretty much destroyed by the Allies bombing in WWII, although the religiously fueled rape and massacres of 1631 (30 years war) were far more brutal, and that today it’s a city of contrasts struggling to survive.
However, by the end of day one here, thanks to brilliant and informative guide Gisela, there’s a whole heap more. Rich in 11th century architectural structures, Magdeburg also houses Stalin’s post war rebuild solutions, Hundertwasser’s Green Citadel, that it struggles with today’s familiar conflict of city planning, political corruption and riverside gentrifications that few can afford, but that somehow strong and respected women are heralded at its core. Editha, brilliant young (Wessex,UK) wife of King Otto, Lilith in the garden of Eden, both found inside its Gothic cathedral, Germany’s oldest, also full of sculptures of other spirits oft forgotten.