2009, Erwin Wortelkamp
Remagen-Kripp – Leinpfad
In line with his belief that »sculptures seek and find their own location,« the artist has placed his long, lanky bronze sculpture on the towpath between Remagen-Kripp and the Bridge at Remagen. The location affords an expansive view of the landscape, whose depth and horizontal lines are emphasised by the verticality of the sculpture.
The sculpture im Stande (»in a position (to)«) originated in the group of works known as »Stehende« (»standing figures«). It greets us as it stands nimble-footed in the immediate vicinity of the Rhine. In his search for the most suitable location, Erwin Wortelkamp had his sights set on the natural beauty of the Rhine landscape with its range of mountains on the other side. In the artist's view the vertical emphasis of the sculpture underlines the horizontal »dominant direction« of the expansive scenery.
Seen from a boat, im Stande tends to be seen emblematically and fleetingly. With the movement of the ship it seems to glide past us and out of our field of vision. Seen from the towpath, however, the sculpture encounters the approaching viewer as an incontrovertible fixed point. Through its impression of size it is linked to the interplay of proximity and distance.
»sculptures seek and find their own location«
Seen at close quarters, im Stande appears to have a gently curving exterior form. In addition there are clearly visible determined gashes in the material which give the entire sculpture its own rhythm. With these contrasts they create a permanent relationship of tension and draw the viewer's gaze towards the sculpture, both up and down and around the silhouette. The gaze is repeatedly drawn to a cuboid shape in the bottom third of the sculpture: an element »left standing« during the working of the sculpture. Wortelkamp describes it as the »heart of the matter«, or also as the »treasure chest«. What is hidden inside? Perhaps the energy which repeatedly fills the sculpture im Stande with new life and lends it its perpetual air of placid steadfastness. But perhaps it is also a place that is shrouded in mystery, that absorbs our fantasies and our magical powers of imagination and that toys with the pleasure we take in what is hidden.
Erwin Wortelkamp was born in Hamm/Sieg in 1938. He lives and works in Hasselbach/Westerwald and in Acquaviva Picena/Italy.