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.

The installation takes place in two phases. Generally speaking, souvenir shops spring up wherever there are tourist attractions. In the installation Horu it’s the other way around. In the first phase a souvenir shop will be installed to announce the appearance of a mountain peak, cave, water feature and street lantern. The mountain peak does exist already, but only storage form as yet. The individual pieces are currently stored in an underground room waiting to be installed in their assigned place on the Hansaplatz. The mountain in its storage form is being monitored by a surveillance camera and the footage will be screened on CCTV in the souvenir shop. In the first phase of the project the interior of the shop, with its postcards, newspapers, lamp and monitor, will be visible through a sheet of Perspex. As soon as the mountain appears on Hansaplatz, however, the shop will have regular opening hours.