Excerpt from "The activation of the object" (see texts)
On catching sight of the Museum’s classical portico, even from the town it is clear to the potential museum visitor that the exhibition Christian Helwing: Marcks and the Museum starts long before they have purchased their tickets. As a result of the spatially offset coat of black colour applied by Helwing, the intrinsically functional impression dissolves into a rhythmic image that visitors can walk through. When viewers do indeed enter the pillared portico, they are not only setting foot in a museum that sculptures are exhibited ‘in’, but by stepping through the portico they, too, become part of this encompassing spatial sculpture. In keeping with this logic, the ‘Museum Shop’ in the adjacent cash-desk area is also relieved of its function, leaving it a mere pale silhouette of itself. With a start like this, the artist Christian Helwing sets clear signals and at the same time points to a complex argument, which is not only played out between the genres of sculpture and architecture but also seeks dialogue between his own sculptural oeuvre and Gerhard Marcks' and ultimately – perhaps even primarily – between the visitor and the work.
By not accepting the Museum as a neutral shell in which exhibitions are held, but making it into an essential component of his art, Christian Helwing shifts the focus from ‘viewing’ art to ‘experiencing’ it.
Material: Portico of the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, black plastic film