Location/Event: Kassel/documenta fifteen

Typology: Pavilion

Area: 25 sqm

Status: completed 2022

Materials: Railway sleeper made of beech wood

In cooperation with: Barbara Ettinger-Brinckmann, BDA Hessen/Group Kassel, ruangrupa/curators of documenta fifteen, young people from Sauerland

This pavilion is called Karlsauge “Karl’s Eye”. It is located at Karlsaue, the state park of Kassel in the center of Germany. The installation was planned and collectively built as a reflecting point for documenta fifteen, the world art exhibition that takes place every five years in Kassel. It is the starting point of the “Karlsauge-Reforestation-Project” in Sauerland, North Rhine-Westphalia. Karlsauge is a place of contemplation, communication, and action where people can meet and exchange ideas.

There are four steles located in the center of an elliptical clearing in the forest of the park resembling a huge eye. The four steles are made of beech wood blocks stacked on top of each other. The blocks are leftover pieces of railway sleepers usually used for heating. Instead of burning this wood and producing emissions, we decided to create an installation for the community where the CO2 is stored for a long time. Here people can sit face to face and discuss the enormous potential of healthy woodlands to confront the effects of climate change.

At the same time, they can look through the gaps of the steles into the landscape, into nature. Or look up into the sky. Therefore, the installation enables a close relationship between people and nature. This perspective stands for the “Karlsauge-Reforestation-Project” initiative. Young people from the region have come together to plant biodiverse trees in former monoculture woodlands that died due to a bark beetle plague caused by climate change. In the last two years, they have planted more than 6,000 young trees. Not only is this a place for people, but also a hotel for insects. That’s why we put leaves and moss in all the gaps, so the insects can find a habitat, a home.

Photo Credit:
© Laurian Ghinitoiu