Jan Köchermann

Horu

The Hansaviertel was built in 1957 as part of the International Building Exhibition (Interbau) as "The City of Tomorrow" and is considered a classic of modernist architecture and urban planning. In 1995, the ensemble was granted landmark status and therefore preserves these ideas. Architectural tourists from all over the world come to the Hansaviertel to study and marvel at its modernist architecture. Jan Köchermann's installation Horu enriches the former city of tomorrow with yet another attraction and, for a limited time, with an "Alpine panorama": The Matterhorn mountain - "Horu" in Walser German - will be on view in front of the Hansabibliothek in April 2020. It might only be eight meters above sea level, rather than over 4000 meters, but it is equipped with a cave after all. Indicating the mountain and tourist attraction, a small souvenir shop with postcards awaits, where visitors can find the newspaper "Die Höhle" (The Cave) and Wanderstockmarken. Currently, the mountain is stored in a basement, disassembled into its individual parts, where it awaits its appearance. A security camera transmits a 24/7 live broadcast of the mountain to the kiosk at Hansaplatz.

Thus, the Horu installation lets time run backwards: while a souvenir shop usually follows the tourist attraction, in this case it precedes it. The scenery is complemented by a "mountain lake" (the water basin in front of the Hansabibliothek), the "moon" (a street lamp) and a walk-in cave. The cave, the prototype of human living and dwelling, is deliberately framed as a counterpoint to the architecture of the "city of tomorrow". The newspaper Die Höhle (The Cave) gathers stories about mountains and caves, of residents, mountain lovers and artists. Jan Köchermann’s humorous, almost anarchic staging of the otherwise well-ordered public space of the Hansaplatz, plays with the familiar viewing habits of the audience and questions what is considered ‘normal’ in public space: I.e. that public space is increasingly privatised, made functional, and transformed into places designed for consumption and entertainment.