Kolumba
Kolumbastraße 4
D-50667 Köln
tel +49 (0)221 9331930
fax +49 (0)221 93319333

     
March to June 1997
Richard Serra »The Drowned and the Saved«
Former sacristy of St. Kolumba’s Church

On 24 February 1997, a day when the clouds brightened, a new chapter was begun in the two-thousand-year-old history of the grounds of the former church St. Kolumba. Even before the first sketches for the new building of the museum to be built upon this site were submitted for the ongoing architectural competition, the symbolic foundation stone of the future purpose of the site was laid by the American sculptor Richard Serra with the installation of his steel sculpture “The Drowned and the Saved”. In the former sacristy of the church which had been destroyed except for the outside walls between 1943 and 1945, the work, which was conceived originally for an exhibition in the synagogue in Stommeln, found its ultimate home in St. Kolumba. The room is located above a crypt filled with remains of the dead who had been buried on the premises since the Middle Ages and who were then exhumed during excavation works in the mid-1970s. The sculpture above refers to all that has been lost in the layers lying below: to those absent, those who have died before us; and in the sculptural balance of carrying, burdening and leaning upon one another, it points out that but for the dead, there would be no living. At the same time it is a reference to the fact, that the museum understands itself as a place of remembering and becoming aware of the past as a historical foundation for the future. “This is a wonderful place” Serra said on this day “small and personal. It can remain open on top, surrounded by the ruins of the former brick walls and Gothic window frames. Thus the sculpture becomes part of the tradition of this town.” The grounds of the museum site will be a focus for the museum during this time, made visible to us in photographs by Ulrich Tillmann who created an extensive artistic documentary in 1994. Also, we will present the outcome of the competition for the new museum building, which consists of 168 entries.

(Publication)


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KOLUMBA :: Events :: 1997 Richard Serra

March to June 1997
Richard Serra »The Drowned and the Saved«
Former sacristy of St. Kolumba’s Church

On 24 February 1997, a day when the clouds brightened, a new chapter was begun in the two-thousand-year-old history of the grounds of the former church St. Kolumba. Even before the first sketches for the new building of the museum to be built upon this site were submitted for the ongoing architectural competition, the symbolic foundation stone of the future purpose of the site was laid by the American sculptor Richard Serra with the installation of his steel sculpture “The Drowned and the Saved”. In the former sacristy of the church which had been destroyed except for the outside walls between 1943 and 1945, the work, which was conceived originally for an exhibition in the synagogue in Stommeln, found its ultimate home in St. Kolumba. The room is located above a crypt filled with remains of the dead who had been buried on the premises since the Middle Ages and who were then exhumed during excavation works in the mid-1970s. The sculpture above refers to all that has been lost in the layers lying below: to those absent, those who have died before us; and in the sculptural balance of carrying, burdening and leaning upon one another, it points out that but for the dead, there would be no living. At the same time it is a reference to the fact, that the museum understands itself as a place of remembering and becoming aware of the past as a historical foundation for the future. “This is a wonderful place” Serra said on this day “small and personal. It can remain open on top, surrounded by the ruins of the former brick walls and Gothic window frames. Thus the sculpture becomes part of the tradition of this town.” The grounds of the museum site will be a focus for the museum during this time, made visible to us in photographs by Ulrich Tillmann who created an extensive artistic documentary in 1994. Also, we will present the outcome of the competition for the new museum building, which consists of 168 entries.

(Publication)