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Shifting Heads sculpture at Humbolt University

Date uploaded: January 12, 2009

Heads, shifting (2004-2008).

Josefine Günschel & Margund Smolka, Forum Humboldt University in Adlershof, Rudower Chaussee in Berlin - Treptow

Two identical, androgynous heads stand 6 metres high and appear to gaze over Humboldt University square.

The heads are in constant yet extremely slow motion. Very slowly they change their expression, their position in relation to one another, and thus their effect on the surroundings.

Changes on the mostly impassive faces are caused by small, subtle movements - occasionally the form of each head dissolves, becoming a sculptural structure whose surface can only be seen as an abstract form which eventually returns to its original starting position.

Due to the almost endless number of possible combinations within each head (and between the two heads), the sculpture continually takes on a new appearance.

The heads were computer-designed and offer no clues as to gender or personality - they are generic.

The work took into consideration the function of the University as well as the character of the setting in which the heads are located. Thought, research, synthesis, openness and the ability to change one's point of view are all essential qualities of a university, and are represented in the form of  "heads, shifting".

An analogy to communication, which is a specific characteristic of this location (at the entrance to the University canteen) - is present in the diverse positions of the two heads. Whether facing away from each other in seemingly introverted meditative moods, or facing each other and taking reference from one another in movement or change, these heads illustrate conditions and processes which address the nature of relationships between people as well as refer to the processes of researching, discovering and learning.

Contact: Josefine Günschel

Email: [email protected]

Follow this link to visit the artist's website

Josefine Günschel & Margund Smolka, Heads, shifting (2004-2008) Photo: Jens Komossa

Josefine Günschel & Margund Smolka, Heads, shifting (2004-2008) Photo: Jens Komossa