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At the beginning of the new year, we have the pleasure to present the brand-new Johannes Gutenberg sculpture. "The modern world as we know it would be inconceivable without Gutenberg's achievements," says Ottmar Hörl. Following an invitation by the City of Eltville am Rhein, the artist will present a sculptural installation, on show between 18 August and 23 September, to mark the Gutenberg Year and commemorate Gutenberg's invention of mechanical movable type printing, an indispensable prerequisite for the global dissemination of knowledge, ideas and education.
The prototype of the new sculpture was introduced to the general public for the first time as part of the City of Eltville's New Year's reception on 21 January 2018.
The organisers of the exhibition wish to focus on Gutenberg's home region, on the historic Electorate of Mainz, where he was born and where he is also assumed to have died, as well as on Eltville am Rhein, the place where he received the only distinction during his lifetime, bestowed on him by Elector Adolph II of Nassau at the Electoral Castle in 1465.
The temporary art installation will be characterised by a public presence that promotes identification and, with lasting effect, draws people's attention to Gutenberg and his provenance. This immediate presence will deliberately transcend the isolation typical of museum exhibitions, inviting everyone to enter into a cultural discourse. Ottmar Hörl's concepts are based on his maxim of "sculpture as an organisational principle" and his idea of the series. Through reproduction, Hörl removes the elitist element from art. Rather than creating monuments in the classical sense, he offers lasting occasions for communication that serve as a stimulus to reflect upon his projects. In this sense, his art turns into a unique event, a singular experience that inspires and connects people all around the world. The serial idea also alludes to Gutenberg's serial method of producing the printed word. Towards the end of the presentation, when the installation is dismantled, the Gutenberg sculpture will become a movable monument! What a terrific idea – Gutenberg for the 21st century.
Having already realised one of his projects in Eltville in 2013, Ottmar Hörl has close ties with the town and its citizens, who fondly remember his installation of 500 serial rose sculptures. Following an invitation by the City, this presentation was staged for Eltville's anniversary as the "city of roses". This project turned out to be a resounding success.
(Translation of an excerpt from a German press release issued by the municipal authorities of Eltville)
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