Jan Köchermann


The installation Horu forms an ensemble comprising of a mountain peak, a cave, a water area, a streetlamp and a souvenir shop. This intervention will playfully declare the Hansaplatz to be an Alpine panorama for a period of one to three months.

The mountain peak, whose silhouette is reminiscent of the Matterhorn, enters into a conceptual and formal dialogue with the Hansaplatz. Proportionally it creates a counterpoint to the architecturally charged situation there. Only when seen from the front does the two-dimensional installation create the illusion of a mountain peak – from the side it is obviously just a piece of stage scenery. Additional romanticism is provided by the casual arrangement of plants at the side of the water basin and the reflection of the entire installation in the surface of the water. Like an artificial sun or artificial moon the streetlamp illuminates the mountain peak from above, creating associations with a floodlit ski slope. The walk-in cave in the lower part of the “mountain” leads 3.5 m into the depths. It represents the primeval form of human dwelling in stark contrast to the housing units in the surrounding district.

On the opposite side, approximately 13 m from the mountain installation is a small souvenir shop. There is a postcard stand at the side of the counter and copies of the “Höhlenzeitung” (cave newspaper) are laid out on the tilted countertop, a single light bulb creates a cosy atmosphere. An audio loop plays away quietly, but is clearly audible to anyone near the shop. All generations of local residents will be reached out to in advance in order to interest them in the project they and invite them to take part in a creative exploration of the installation: How does the Hansaviertel change when there is suddenly a giant mountain in front of the door? What do you associate with the word “cave”? Paint, draw or collage a landscape featuring a mountain, a lake and a cave in the middle of the city, where the sun or moon is shining.

The same questions and tasks will also be put to a number of artists. The collected responses of all involved will be made into postcards, published in the “Höhlenzeitung” and cut together into an audio installation of recorded sounds. The postcards and newspaper will be on sale in the souvenir shop for a small fee that will contribute to expenses.

The shop will have regular opening hours (e.g. Wed–Fri: 3–6 pm and Sat/Sun: 12–4 pm) and will be run by the artist for the first week. Thereafter the organisation of the shop will also depend on the involvement of the residents. The audio installation will also run when the shop is closed.