The Monument on the mount

28 Nov 2011

Mutter and Genth open a rollercoaster art experience on the hills of Duisburg

Finally opened to the examinations and imaginations of the general public on November 13th, this undeniably eye-catching sculpture, is drawing a fresh stream of intrigued individuals to the hills of South Duisburg, Germany. Spawned from the imaginations of Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, this project was set forth by the duo’s desires to produce a regional landmark that not only evoked strong emotion, but suitably reflected the changing times of the city.

Crafted into the impression of your average theme-park rollercoaster, this interactive walkway is a dynamic design morphed of intricate curves and sweeping verandas. Returning to the issue of symbolism, its fluid and shifting flow is intended to be indicative of the situation of the region, and its transition towards ‘ renaturation and restructuring’; as is the project’s name, ‘Tiger and Turtle’, which, with its immanent dialectic of speed and deadlock, supposedly further conjures up associations of change.

As the architects expressed themselves (regarding the conveyances of the work): “While the sculpture conveys an absurd twist regarding the inherent expectation of the image created by a rollercoaster, it reflects its own role as a potential trans-regional landmark which will be inevitably pocketed as image. It counters the logic of permanent growth with an absurd-contradictory sculpture that refuses a definite interpretation.”

This mountable 45m high structure will allow, to those who brave the climb, extraordinary views, enabling them to panoramically survey the landscape of the western Ruhr. With a base that reaches out to cover a 44m x 37m area, and a construction height of 21m, this ‘magic mountain’ artistic emplacement is one of the largest in Germany, and has been coined by some as a masterpiece of engineering. When examined up close, this closed course loop reveals itself as a 1m wide winding stairway, able to bear its passengers until the inevitable halt, when the dramatic trajectory shift of the loop-the-loop bars any further progression.

LED-lights have been incorporated into the handrails, illuminating the framework far into the night sky, ensuring that darkness needn’t diminish the spectacle of this West-German craft.

Tom Aston

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