Cumulus 11.08

Realized in 2012 as a permanent instal­lation in the sculpture park of the Herbert Gerisch Foun­dation in Neumünster, Germany. A stylised cloud made from shiny white plastic measuring 300 x 200 x 200 cm is swivel­mounted at a height of 580 cm at the tip of a 450 cm-long hori­zontal crossbeam which swings above the house.

 The mast and the crossbeam form a metal bracket which reaches over the roof of the house and is swivel-mounted. It is aligned by the wind and can also be swiv­elled through 360° using a handle mounted at chest height. The bracket is coated with mirror-polished stainless steel. Cumulus 11.08 floats over the private resi­dence of the founders Herbert and Brigitte Gerisch. It is a 1960s bungalow which is shut off from the road by a high concrete wall and a metal gate and is not visible from the street. The vertical line of the cloud bracket is added to the hori­zontal line of the concrete wall so that, like a coor­dinate system, an addi­tional space is created. The cloud is the only indi­cation of the building located behind the wall and points like an arrow on a map to the house and the Gerisch Foun­dation. With the cumulus cloud, also known as a heap or cumu­lonimbus cloud, Goldberg has chosen a cloud which is univer­sally regarded as very beau­tiful: it is the classic textbook cloud (“cotton-wool cloud”), flat under­neath and shiny, white and round on top. The roundness of the sculpture’s shape is empha­sised by its glossy white surface. Cumulus 11.08 is different from the original because of its stylised nature. The actual sky has been given this synthetic cloud as an arti­ficial set piece. The addition of “11.08” to the title refers to a cloud formation photographed in August 2011: preserving this fleeting moment of movement has frozen it in time. Although clouds travel across the sky and one watches them lost in thought, their natural movement is negated. The cloud in the Gerisch sculpture park circles round the mast as if held by a cord. Unlike real clouds, this one is tangible and touchable. Cumulus 11.08 adds to the permanent sculpture collection in the Gerisch sculpture park. Since 2005 the criteria for choosing new sculp­tures have been the following: do they link contem­porary art and land­scape? Do they examine how art deals with percep­tions of nature that are full of longing? Goldberg’s work not only inves­ti­gates the specific orien­tation of the location, but also indi­vidual, historical and social utopias hidden behind today’s ideas of what idyll actually means to us. The clouds help us dream ourselves away from reality. We build “castles in the air” where utopian ideas and desires are located. Cumulus 11.08 is a cipher, a metaphor and, at the same time, a form of projection and an image of longing.

Photos: Thorsten Goldberg