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MORNING STAR - sculptural installation

Morgenstern (Morning Star) is a celebration of ambivalence. The first look reveals an aureole of black lines that are intercepted with white and red, in the end spreading out into slender triangles. Just as though an explosive charge has been detonated and all the material is being hurled into every direction – pure energy near the centre and slowing down movement and chaos to the outside.

But in this same first glance the impression of a centripetal movement is being created. Everything is being pulled into this black hole, its gravity causes the collapse. Now the lines can be seen as what they are: arrows, who's heads are hidden from sight inside the centre of a three dimensional system. Morgensterns radiant form reminds of an energetic state that is frozen in between both expansion and implosion.

For Smigla-Bobinski arrows represent a radical dualism: the arrowhead made out of cold steel and at the end the feather – the one end is aggression and hardness, the other is softness, lightness and the feeling of freedom, hold together by a slim black line. This dualism symbolises the dualism of human interaction. Morgenstern is Smigla-Bobinskis contribution to a group exhibition that is part of an transnational european culture project. The Exhibitions title and theme is “gast.freund.schaft” (translated it means hospitality, but intrinsic in the german compound are the words for guest, friend and a morphological part, that in other situations means arrow). It is a vivisection of a word and the slightly different writhing motivates the reflexion about the qualities.

Smigla-Bobinski loves to etymologically, or rather symbolically and iconically investigate the themes and motives of her work. Her focus concerning the exhibitions title lay on the suffix schaft but shifted the meaning from its morphological function to the nominal one Schaft (arrow shank), that is located in between the arrow head and the feathers. The arrow shank, with its connecting existence between two extremes, bestows the arrow a sign quality, which is used by Smigla-Bobinski in reference to the words guest and friend.

Arrow head or feather – which is the part we receive our guests? Morgenstern is a ball, where the aggressive arrowheads disappear in the hard centre and the benevolence is turned to the outside or surface. Hospitality is a central issue within the art project (called “Eurovisionen”) and the exhibition: five regional artists invite a guest from another european country for a collaboration on the european. Smigla-Bobinski has been living in Germany for years, but has been invited by Bodo Korsig, an artist from Trier, because of her polish background. She used her deep roots in both cultures to visualise the ambivalence concerning hospitality, especially in socio-political context of the European Union. In poland hospitality is highly important, but socio-politically viewed the character is more of an naïve acceptance in a more aggressive system.

The name Morgenstern (morning star) itself has an irritating ambivalence: on one side it is another name for Venus, our brightest star, that is the first one to appear in the west, and the last one to be seen in the east. On the other side it is the name of a brute weapon, that was used from the early Middle Ages to the trench fights of the Second World War. It is not clear wether the weapon derives its name from its form or the fact that it was preferably used in the early hours of a fight. The weapon consists of a ball that is covered in spikes. Venus, the personification of femaleness and the goddess of love and beauty, is sometimes depicted with a arrow, that will pierce a heart, which originally is an attribute of Armor, her son. But just like that the two polarities meet.

But Smigla-Bobinskis Morgenstern is not an iconic visualisation of that ambivalent symbolism, instead it is an energetic representation of the ambivalence between word and union, centrifugal expansion and centrifugal fusion, which can be conceived even before any knowledge of the iconic background. In connection with Bodo Korsigs installation of a wild swarm of arrows stuck in the walls on their flight towards the Morgenstern, the kinetic energy is impressively visualised. The ensemble also shows a connection to ADA (2010) the ball covered with charcoal sticks, which leaves marks as it is being moved about by visitors.

In the context of critically revising hospitality, Morgenstern is not representing an ideal of human interaction, but an open representation of conflictive energies and offers no permanent solution. Arrows although their heads are invisible because they all face the same small space in the middle, stay weapons. But an arrow also symbolises the deference to the world. The arrow star has hidden its threat in its core, but it has become blind and closed up to the world. To start a dialogue would then mean the risk of opening that star and has to find a way of doing so in the presence of arrowheads.

2013 © Dr. Thomas R. Huber

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Technical Specifications

description > sculptural installation
components > arrows
dimensions > 2 m diameter
premiere > 2013

Sponsored by > TUFA - Trier


TUFA - Trier