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