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ISLANDS - light installation in public space

Islands was created as part of impark in the munich Olympiapark – an public exhibition, that evaluates the culture and history multi-medial. Smigla-Bobinski developed a work in three parts for the Olympia lake in the very centre of the park, that is not conceivable with just one glance.

Islands had two faces: in daylight three grass islands floated on the surface of the lake, that looked cut from their natural surroundings. The structure transferred the morphology of the park, with its soft curved hills, into a strange element. In the evening the little island hills began to disappear and naked women appeared under them, rolled up in sleep. Their life sized images glimmered strangely on the water surface. The suggested the uncertain distance of existence and only stayed visible for a while, since the projector on the inside of the island was charged by solar cells during the day.

The women inside the hills, that Smigla-Bobinski made visible through the installation of the hills above water, also symbolise the uncountable helping women, who removed the debris of destroyed cities after the Second World War. The highest hill in the park, just next to the lake, consist of the debris of bombed munich and is called simply 'Schuttberg' (meaning: debris hill). Staging the Olympic Games at this sight and remodelling the urban periphery had an important symbolic political relevance. Smigla-Bobinski combined the two leitmotivs of the epochs: the architecture of the park, its flowing curves and round features, as a statement against the fascistic celebration of the central axis and the women, who performed the reconstruction of their cities without the men, who went to war. The artist thereby lays open the whole nature of this place.

The sleep of the women is a rest after the hard work,but the slumber in itself represents the profound presence of history. History as in singular history or as in stories, the backside of reason.

The debris-women are just one of many references of this archetypical phenomenon. With the representation of the nude body Smigla-Bobinski opens up another associative space: the hidden and subliminal – but also the universal allegory of nature, which is cultivated and civilised in parks, while lying dormant under the lovely surface.


© Dr. Thomas R. Huber, 2013






Technical Specifications

description > light installation in public space
components > metal structures, large slides, grass, light, water
dimensions > 1 island: 2 m diameter
space > variable, most: 10 m long x 6 m wide x 4 m high
premiere > 2004


Production of Olympiapark München GmbH




Supported by Degussa AG