Wismar depot

Installed in 2005 during “Zum Wasser—ins Licht”, Kunst im Stad­traum Wismar. (To the Sea—into the Light, Art in Urban Space in Wismar).

Luminous red neon text spelling “Milch & Honig” in back-to-front letters, mounted verti­cally one under­neath the other on a frame construction, is installed on the exterior brick wall of the 1935 Ohlerich ware­house in the old city harbour of Wismar. The neon text illu­mi­nates the quay and the harbour basin. Despite the inversion, the red light message remains legible: “Milch & Honig”. These words refer to God’s promise in the Old Testament to give the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey. They also invoke the utopian land of Hans Sachs (1530), as well as the famous “Accurata Utopia Tabula” map by Johann Baptist Homann (c. 1700). They provide a link to the economic location of Wismar, the old Hanseatic city and its changeable history. The neon text “Milch & Honig” is a metaphor for contentment and happiness and promises pros­perity. This is even more poignant fixed to a building that, as one of the four large ware­houses in the port of Wismar, repre­sents the former wealth of the honourable Hanseatic city. Furthermore this asso­ciates “Milch & Honig” with the prospect of a better, maybe even utopian future. But at the same time the typo­graphic inversion of the letters casts doubt upon this promise.