New art for Munich Re’s building on Mandlstrasse in Munich | 2012
Since November 2012, three Trashstones by the artist Wilhelm Mundt (born 1959
in Grevenbroich, Germany) have been positioned in the small inner
courtyard of Munich Re’s office building on
Mandlstrasse. The abstract, amorphous sculptures in various colours
are reminiscent of oversized pebbles, and seem like glacial
erratics from another world. Mysterious, magical, enigmatic.
Photo: Bodo Kessler
On closer inspection it is apparent that their shiny coloured
surfaces are composed of multiple layers, wrapped lithely around an
inner core, following its shape. Wilhelm Mundt forms this core from
the debris of his artistic work at his studio: pieces of wood,
leftover adhesive tape, parts of old or discarded sculptures, but
also broken everyday objects such as televisions, coffee machines,
and personal items. In an intensive process, all these things are
compacted, bound and glued according to a set concept. They are
then coated with several layers of coloured, fibreglass-reinforced
plastics or polyester resin, smoothed, polished and labelled with a
production number. Only the artist can tell from the serial number
what exactly is hidden under the plastic coating. Relics of
artistic creativity and life are thus spun and conserved as in a
cocoon. Nothing is thrown away. The
Trashstones’ genesis is reminiscent of that
of fossils, encased in layers of sand and mud millions of years
ago. Wilhelm Mundt’s Trashstones are like
modern fossils, preserving debris of our time in their interiors
for a distant future.
The Trashstones series began in 1989 with stone 001. Since then,
Wilhelm Mundt has fashioned Trashstones in various sizes, forms and
colours, which he numbers consecutively. The three Trashstones of
the Munich Re Art Collection bear the numbers 520, 556 and 557.
Wilhelm Mundt talks to Susanne Ehrenfried, Curator of the Munich
Re Art Collection.
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