Mirrored LED text presented as part of the exhibition project “Blickwechsel” in North Rhine Westphalia—42 art projects in public space, 2011.
Back-to-front red LED text on two mirrors installed horizontally on the slate-clad exterior wall of the Museum der Stadt Ratingen. Two flat panels, 200 x 50 cm and 180 x 50 cm, mounted diagonally opposite each other. At the vertex of Grabenstraße and PeterBrüning-Platz (a street and a square in Ratingen), located straight in front of the former Lintorfer Gate, the long-gone massive fortification system in the old city wall, is the administration building of the municipal museum. It is a bare, three-storey structure with a slate roof. The entrance area is situated on the narrow side of the rectangular building and is adjacent to Peter-Brüning-Platz and the Ehrenfriedhof cemetery. The long side of the building, stretches, sloping slightly, into Grabenstraße. It is at the height of the second floor underneath a window sill of this building that Thorsten Goldberg has mounted the luminous red back-to-front LED text “Milch & Honig” on two diagonally opposite panels. From this position it glows and shows—glance fleeting glance almost symbolically—the spectator “the way to the promised land”, to happiness, freedom and paradise. At second glance however, it becomes apparent that this is an illusion and the ironic slant reveals itself: by just putting the letters back to front the legibility of the message is tampered with and thus the hopeful promise of a dream land is questioned.* “Milk & Honey” refers to a passage in the Old Testament in which God promises the Israelites “to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”** This promised land is also used as a synonym for describing the Land of Milk and Honey. Similar to the idea of Arcadia or of paradise, it is used to express the desire for a better, easier, happier and more fulfilled life.
* Klaus Thelen: Milch & Honig in Ratingen, in catalogue: Blickwechsel, Gütersloh 2010.
** Exodus 33:3.