Anke Hannemann

floor plate gilded with 23 Karat gold leaf, engraved sign/label, 4 photo prints intervention/installation Courtesy of Ruhr-University Bochum, 2019

Displaying a gilded concrete floor plate from the campus of Ruhr-University Bochum inside the spaces of Schiller-Museum, the artist draws attention to the discourses around the preservation of Brutalist architecture. Currently in a state between decay, deconstruction and restoration, the university was the first to be constructed in Western Germany after WWII and served as a key example of the new way of building. While some of its architectural elements have been listed since 2015, the original floor plates are set to be replaced. As a response and in order to pay homage to the often overlooked workers engaged in reconstructing, renovating and demolishing such architectures, the artist gilded one of the plates on the reverse. In a second installment of the work, the plate is now on loan at Schiller Museum, turned from a functioning object into exhibition loan. Displayed with regular exhibition labels, the artist elevates this pedestrian architectural element to an object of modernist material culture worthy of preservation by the museum institution while the gold on the floor plate has almost vanished over time.