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Arthur Rimbaud, 2004

Five Years Can Be an Eternity – Sculptural project in Charleville-Mézières, Place Ducale

Charleville-Mézières is the hometown of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. As early as in 1891 when Rimbaud died in Marseille far from any poetry, he was celebrated as the greatest poet of his time. In 1901, a monument in his honour was erected in the square in front of the train station of Charleville-Mézières. Rimbaud‘s work, created in the short period between 1870 and 1874 (when he was 16 to 20 years of age) is considered world literature.

On the occasion of the 150th birthday of Arthur Rimbaud and delighted by the way artist Ottmar Hörl stages his works in public environments, the city of Charleville-Mézières, together with the Musée de l‘Ardenne and the Musée Rimbaud, decided to offer the central square (Place Ducale) to the artist.

Following extensive research on Arthur Rimbaud and especially researching the phenomenon that a poet wrote his major works at the age of 16 and was on a completely different road at the age of 21, motivated Ottmar Hörl to go for a pluralistic approach towards the poet. In this, he also pays attention to the fact that although Arthur Rimbaud is known as a poet in France, is even part of compulsory reading in schools, only very few know where his hometown is located. In addition, Ottmar Hörl had to deal with the fact that although Arthur Rimbaud is considered world literature, his name is hardly known at all in Germany. This is one of the reasons why the artist wanted to first and foremost assert a presence for the poet in France, not assert himself.



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