Angermünde ist the city of the greatest Hard Rock Symposium in Northern Europe. With this app you can discover the sculptures in our historic town. If you like the tour, please leave a small donation via paypal firstname.lastname@example.org Many thanks and enjoy the tour.
Autor: Kena Hüsers - Text und Design
Klosterstraße 40, 16278 Angermünde, DE
English text only. No audiotour!
The stations are located at the top left. You can use the symbol on the right to navigate. On the station pages you will find three symbols at the bottom. Left for the texts, in the middle for images and on the right for the german audio guide. And now we can start!
The 9th Hard Rock Symposium "Glaziale Brandenburg" took place in autumn 2020 on the monastery square. For the first time, well-known sculptors from all over Europe gathered in Angermünde under the direction of the artist Jörg Steinert.
The Hard Rock Symposium in this form is unique in Northern Europe. The idea came from the local sculptor Joachim Karbe, who had held the hard rock symposia in Altkünkendorf and Angermünde at regular intervals since 1991. In 2008 he gave up organizational work. Twelve years later, Jörg Steinert took up the cause and invited six artists to take part. He himself is also represented with a sculpture on the monastery square and has also been there several times in previous years. The location of the event is not new. The 5th - 7th Hard Rock Symposium took place here. Jörg Karbe held the first four symposia on his own property in Altkünkendorf. However, the interest of the population and guests of the city was so great that a public space had to be found for it.
But what is a Hard Rock Symposium anyway and what is the idea behind it?
The idea is practically obvious if you know the Uckermark. The shifts of the last ice age left boulders weighing several tons, which today can be seen on roadsides and in church foundations, and which linger undiscovered in heaps in the ground. This was easy to observe during the work on the "Nord Stream 2" gas pipeline, because the hidden colossuses now came to the surface.
With the title "Glaziale Brandenburg" the symposium took up the landscape form that developed during the ice age (ice = glacies) as a topic and passed it on to the artists. The idea behind it: The sculptors take these boulders formed by the Ice Age and continue where the melting ice left off.
The material is not easy to process and is new to most participants. Boulders are not only made of granite. There are dozens of materials such as: porphyry, gneiss, diabase, quartzite and limestone. The natural stone reveals which Scandinavian region it comes from, from Sweden, Norway, Denmark or the island of Gotland.
Artists represented in 2020: Thomas Reifferscheid (D), Ton Kalle (NL), Chris Peterson (NL), Karin van Ommeren (NL), Antonino Grasso (IT), Pierluigi Portale (IT), Jörg Steinert, symposium leader (D)
We start our guided tour with the artworks of Pierluigi Portale and Antonino Grasso and continue clockwise. You will also find audio and video recordings and images for the individual stations in the walk.
Art on the monastery square/Klosterplatz
Klosterstraße 43A, 16278 Angermünde, DE
Passing the work "History without End" by the local artist Christian Uhlig and coming around the monastery corner, you can already see the first sculpture of the Hard Stone Symposium by the Italian sculptor Pierluigi Portgale. His art is known for not separating the figurative from the abstract. His style is characterized by a lightness that he has worked out and perfected over time. Professor of sculpture and techniques in marble and hard stones at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania (Sicily), he makes precise models of his sculptures beforehand, which underlines his perfectionist way of working.
With his sculpture "Reflections", which shows two triangles of a divided face, whose halves are firmly connected by a band, he wants to make the good in us visible. "We should look more inwards from the outside and think about how we deal with ourselves and our world," said Portale about his work at the finissage on September 30, 2020.
Let's turn to the second Sicilian of the round: the trained stonemason Antonino Grasso, who has specialized in the processing of Etna lava stone and is actually working on the counterpart of the Uckermark boulder that came from the cold.
Even if both Sicilian sculptors brought a little Mediterranean feeling to Angermünde, the themes are quite serious, because Grasso also has an important message for the viewer of his sculpture. The detailed wall that doesn't separate people, but connects them through a gate. This statement is a reflection of Sicilian cultural traditions, shaped by a unique blend of Greek, Roman, Norman and Arabic influences.
If we follow the imaginary clock hand, we see the sculpture "Rings" by the Bochum artist Thomas Reifferscheid, who himself says that hard rocks are his element. He likes to work from the gut directly on the stone. For this way of working, he does not need any sketches of ideas beforehand, because he allows the nature of the stone to work its magic on him while he is creating. The sculptor, who likes to combine his art in public space with landscape and architecture, created the sculpture "Rings" during the almost four-week symposium, thereby connecting primary rock with infinity. "We know rings in all variations. Wedding rings, cosmic rings, Olympic rings, because rings symbolize a beginning without an end," said Thomas Reifferscheid during his speech at the finissage on September 30, 2020 on the monastery square.
Next to Thomas Reifferscheid's rings was the sculpture "Snake" by the impressive artist Karin van Ommeren, who for work reasons only arrived in Angermünde a week later than her colleagues. So she only had three weeks to develop her sculpture, which she succeeded in doing. The group of artists was very impressed with the energy with which the sculptor went to work and made up for the missing time. For Karin van Ommeren, boulders symbolize “the primordial eggs in which it lives. The snake is the symbol of the beginning of life, it hatched from the egg and gives its eggs to the world. It’s the old story that keeps coming back,” she says about her sculpture.
The artist was not only impressed by her work, because she is also a linguistic genius and took over the translations (when necessary. Ton Kalle and Chris Peterson also speak German) at the finissage. With a light tongue, she switched from Dutch to German, from English to Italian, and was able to help each artist question the audience. Her sculpture was sold in 2023 and is now privately owned.
Let's go to the next sculpture, which Jörg Steinert himself described as the "quintessence of man" and which bears the simple name "Head".
The open-minded sculptor was also the head of the symposium. He had his hands full juggling organizing and creating his own sculpture. Following a rhythm of figure, leaving and polishing, he worked the approx. 3 meter high skull out of the gneiss granite. The sculpture, which weighs around 10 tons, stands on a base stone made of Swedish granite. For Steinert, the fascination with the primary rock from the north lies not only in the material itself, but also in where it comes from. "A boulder has another dimension: the earth it comes from," said the artist himself when his work was unveiled in September.
Jörg Steinert has the idea of expanding the sculpture and developing it as a gate. It is planned to provide the head with an architrave (horizontal beam) and to place another boulder opposite the head as a support. The artist would then like to see the gate as the entrance to the World Heritage Site. Eventually he will complete this part of the work at the next symposium.
You can see the sculpture "Genesis" by Jörg Steinert on the forecourt of the malt house, where the hard rock symposium took place in 2008 under the direction of Joachim Karbe.
Did the "Head" and the head of the "Glaziale Brandenburg 2020" arouse your interest? Then stop by in Schönermark by prior appointment.
Until October 2023, right next to Steinert's sculpture was the work "Family" by the Dutchman Ton Kalle, who was not only popular among the staff and visitors because of his skills and willingness to help, his friendly, warm and funny nature also brought him a lot of sympathy in Angermünde. Ton Kalle is already part of the inventory of the Hartgestein-Symposium because he is there almost every time, including in 2023 when the artists moved to Schwedt to make their new sculptures there. Other works by Ton Kalle can be found at the most beautiful viewing point on Lake Münde and in the Kaisergarten. Places that are often used by young lovers to cuddle, as the artist himself observed with a smile. Ton Kalle does not want to see his sculptures as works of art that can only be viewed from a distance, because he has brought nature into the city with the stones so that people can live with it. "I try to make the language of stone visible in its most elementary form. This rough material of the earth wants to speak. It needs calm, stillness and simplicity. These elements are always present in my work," says the artist about his work. The colorful sketches that he makes in advance are more reminiscent of instructions for plugging wooden toys, but they are important building instructions for later putting the blocks together with pinpoint accuracy. The center of gravity must be kept in mind so that the boulders take a secure place.
The monumental work "Family" created here on the monastery square, about which he himself says: "Every stone has its character and its place, but only together do they give each other support", is now in his own sculpture park in the Netherlands.
Last in line is Dutch-British artist Chris Peterson. He also brought the boulder into the city as a walk-in sculpture. His wish was to work a stone weighing ten tons, which required enormous strength from him in the four weeks. The result is impressive! With the "shelter for the quiet voices" the sculptor considered the younger generation, which is very close to his heart. "I made this art for the kids because if I want to change the future, I have to start with the kids. One kid, one foundling, one change for the future," he said of his idea at the unveiling. On the very first day, the little ones used the stone cave as a hiding place. Whenever you come to the square when children are present, they also quickly disappeared inside the stone. Because here they find a place that adults do not have access to.
In his Dutch hometown of Zwolle, Chris Peterson is the driving force behind the "XYZ-Area" project. Shipping containers are stacked here to serve as a project space for artists. "It will be a place for art, design and architecture. A place where people who work in these fields can thrive and exchange ideas," says the sculptor in an interview with Dutch television rtvfocus.
Wondering if a sculpture was left out? no! The boulder with the smooth surface is not part of this symposium. It was edited in 2004 by the Lemgo artist Dorsten Diekmann. The sculptor had already taken part in the Millennium Symposium four years earlier and created the sculpture "Dynamik", which also impresses with its mirror-smooth surface. Here at the monastery you can see the work "Ikarus".
"When I started to work the stone, my aim was to give it movement, to make it light. The environment and the sky are reflected in the polished surfaces. The colors change with the weather and light conditions. The big one The block is carried and held by two other stones, only they touch the ground", Dorsten Diekmann describes his work in the catalog for the 7th International Hard Rock Symposium.
16278 Angermünde, DE
The Dutch artist Ton Kalle is himself a veteran of the hard rock symposium, as often as he was represented. Just as he took the Uckermark to his heart, the people of the Uckermark took him to their hearts. The fun-loving artist himself wrote in the catalog for the 2000 symposium: To me the Uckermark is the paradise of boulders. The landscape is created by glaciers from the ice age - the hills and fields with the old stones. It's a beautiful nature. I brought nature into the city. And now it stands on the slope in front of the old city wall. - like a mirrored movement in this time. I try to visualize the language of the stone in its most elementary form. This rough material of the earth wants to speak. This requires calm, stillness and simplicity. These elements are always present in my work.
If you meet Ton Kalle in person, you will be amazed at how calm the art of this lively and humorous artist radiates. Here in the Imperial garden/Kaisergarten you can see the sculpture "Movement" on which you can also linger.
In 2004, the stone formation “No one at the destination” by the Italian artist Erika Inger was added. On the surface you can read the text "All roads lead to truth but none ends at the goal". The boulders stand in the group, strangely on their many legs, as if about to run away. Therefore, the ensemble appears light and floating and encourages you to sit down and let yourself be carried away, even if the journey is only brief from the real world to a created reality. Use the time, sit down and feel the warmth and cold, the smooth and rough of the boulder and enjoy the moment.
Seestraße 11C, 16278 Angermünde, DE
You are on the Mündesee Promenade and can start strolling right away. On this way you will encounter many interesting works of art. Most are labeled. Let them affect you. I won't say anything about that as the works speak for themselves and are meant to reach you without explanation. Take your time, look at the boulders in their surroundings, look at them from all sides and also touch their cool surface. Give your senses time to appreciate the boulder art.
Before you walk along the promenade to the malt house, I would like to say something about the two works that you can see here at the sea gate. The sculpture "Magic Circle" was created in the millennium year and was created by
the artist Luciano Dionisi as a work with an architectural structure composed of a circle with three vertical elements in the middle. The contrast between the vertical steles and the balancing calm of the outer circle determines the work. The eight boulders arranged in a circle are seen by the artist as a representation of cosmic balance. A mediation between earth and heaven, man and god, soul and body. The stone circle forms a narrow arch, a protection, a magical wall designed to prevent any intrusion so that balance is maintained. The magic three formed by the steles is the perfect number to which nothing needs to be added. It is an expression of thought, word and action. The "Magic Circle" symbolizes the history of mankind in its being and becoming with its past, present and future.
(Source: Catalog of the Hard Rock Symposium 2000)
If you look to the right, you will see another stele. This was created by the Stolper artists Hendrikje Ring and Lars Wilhelm and is entitled "Lighthouse". In a regional tender, the two artists were able to prevail with their design against four other applicants. So this stele does not belong to the boulder art of the Hard Rock Symposium.
The raw stone was worked as little as possible. The stele impresses with its 32 panes of glass, which have been connected to the erratic boulder with 30 liters of silicone. The sculpture weighs a total of 5.5 tons. The project cost a total of 22,000 euros, which the city raised from its own funds and subsidies.
And now I wish you a great walk along the Mündesee. Enjoy the view and the stone art. We meet again at the malthouse, where you can discover the next works of art.
Old Malthouse/Alte Mälzerei - Hard Rock Symposium 2008
Prenzlauer Straße 5, 16278 Angermünde, DE
In 2008, the eighth and last Hard Stone Symposium took place on the square in front of the malt house, until the local sculptor Jörg Steinert took up this idea again in 2020 and took charge of the organization. The works "Lighthouse" by Ton Kalle from the Netherlands, "Genesis" by Jörg Steinert, "Expansion" by the Japanese artist Yoshimi Hashimoto, "Between" by the then director of the symposium Joachim Karbe, "Touch" by the French artist Catherine Léva.
The "Lighthouse" by Ton Kalle (please do not confuse it with the sculpture "Lighthouse" at the Seetor by Hendrikje Ring and Lars Wilhelm) was set up on the Mündeseerundweg after the symposium. We'll go back to the promenade later, where I'd like to introduce you to some of the sculptures. If you then want to hike a bit along the Mündeseerundweg, after about three kilometers you will pass the viewpoint where Ton Kalle's "lighthouse" stands. Take a small picnic with you, because that's how Ton Kalle sees his work of art: as a meeting place for families, friends and lovers. But please tidy up the area and don't leave any cigarette butts lying around, so that the next guests can also enjoy the viewpoint. If you hike around the Mündesee at the right time of year, you can pick mirabelle plums, plums, apples and pears for provisions along the way.
Let's now turn our attention to the works of art that have remained on the square in front of the Old Malthouse. There is the sculpture by French artist Catherine Léva entitled "Touch". I advise you to go around the work, look at it from a distance, from different angles, and you will notice that the points of contact of the two boulders change. Sometimes they don't touch at all, then they seem to approach each other, only touching on small areas, only to merge into one another from the next position. This change of closeness and distance, depending on where the person looking at it is, also has something mental about it, because touch does not always have to be physical. As a viewer, you also have the opportunity to see for yourself to what extent the ensemble affects you and how you would like to get in touch with them.
The Japanese Yoshimi Hashimoto was represented in 2004 and 2008 at the hard rock symposium. His sculptures "Clouds" and "Expansion" were purchased by the city of Angermünde with the support of the Sparkasse Uckermark and the Friends of committed citizens.
The sculpture, a shattered chunk of granite whose divergent parts are held in place by rods, lets us look straight into the center of the erratic boulder. A hard stone, seemingly untouchable, stands before us like broken china, revealing what we could not see before, as if looking inside a body where the protected baby slumbers peacefully. The transparent structure Hashimoto created allows us to see through and into the body. And so the boulder appears powerful and defenseless at the same time.
If you look at the hill to the left of the malt house, you can see his second work, which was created four years earlier. The cloud formation, made of hard, heavy rock, blends with the sky and drifting gaseous clouds that change shape and color, dissipating in the sunshine. Here again we have the hard element of stone and the soft and transparent element of light, water and air. Hashimoto himself says about his work: "The natural, free forms of boulders reminded me of the forms of clouds. That moved me, without changing the forms, to create clouds from the stone witnesses of the Ice Age." (Quote from the catalog of the 7th Hard Rock Symposium 2004)
The sculpture "Genesis" with a weight of approx. 8 tons is just one of the works from Jörg Steinert's project of the same name. The works are all made of gneiss granite, which found its way from the far north to the Uckermark during the last ice age. "I have worked stones weighing up to 16 tons. It's always about showing forces, more precisely, trying to represent transcendent forces." The change in surface and structure plays a role here, as does the shape of the stone. This creates the feeling that the stone is opening or the shape in the stone is moving outwards, opening or closing. The series of sculptures "Genesis" from which this sculpture comes tries to create a vibration and to say something about the nature of things. Several of these works are now privately owned or have been acquired by public institutions. The Sparkasse Uckermark acquired this sculpture in front of the malt house.
Dorsten Diekmann's work "Ikarus" from 2004 is on the forecourt of the monastery. Four years earlier, his work "Dynamik" was created on the same site, which later changed its location to the old malt house. In "Dynamik" Diekmann also plays with the reflection in the stone due to the highly polished surface. Dorsten Diekmann was enthusiastic about his foundling right from the start. The size, shape, color and structure gave free rein to his imagination. As in the work "Icarus", he also gave this stone a movement, a direction. The highly polished side reflects the surroundings. When it rains, the rough surfaces of the stone appear heavy, the polished ones even smoother, and when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, the erratic boulder appears light, almost mobile. The haptic stimuli are also decisive. Please don't just look at the work from afar. Approach, touch the different surfaces, close your eyes and let your fingertips read the stone.
I end this station with the words of the initiator at the time, Joachim Karbe, whose own figure created here, "Between", is now at the hospital: "In the end, it's up to everyone to decide what associations a work of art evokes in them personally. The artists have an idea, but art does not impose a ready-made opinion on the viewer."
Seestraße 21, 16278 Angermünde, DE
Back on the promenade we go left along the lake. Here you can see other interesting works of art that were created in various symposia. I would like to stop with you at Rob Schreefel's "Gate". The Dutch sculptor was present at the 5th Hard Stone Symposium in 1997 and created his sculpture on the monastery square. The works "Lost Time" by Tom Wagenaar, also from the Netherlands, "Stairs" by Birgitt Knappe, corsets by Stanislaw Gierada from Poland, "Sails with View" by Joachim Karbe, "Horse and Rider" by Pauls Jaunzems from Latvia were also created there and "Unity" by Janis Karlovs, who also came from Latvia. All these works were transported from the monastery square here to the promenade. Two more, "Longing" by Jörg Steinert and "Head" by Polish artist Slawoj Ostrowski (†) were set up at the hospital and in the city center.
Let's come to the "Gate" by Rob Schreefel. The sculpture marks a border point between a cult site and the everyday world, both mentally and materially. Gates are entrances to temples, churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious sites. A gate is therefore the entrance to the spiritual and transcendent, which also played a role in early history. Schreefel's work certainly reminds you a little of Stonehenge. Don't stop at the gate, go through it to find out what the artist wants to convey. As you walk through, the landscape you just saw framed by stones stretches out before you to the horizon. When you go through the gate, you perceive them differently, because you enter what lies behind and enter another world. Why two goals you might ask yourself. Well, Rob Schreefel has a sense of humour, he didn't want tall people hitting their heads, so he preferred to create a second round.
Let's go ahead and take a closer look at "Horse and Rider". Pauls Jaunzems has also devoted itself to a religious and cultic theme. Horses played an important role in mythology. Gods took shape, Centaurs were half human, half beast, and the Greeks used the Trojan Horse to hide their best warriors inside. The sculptor uses an archaic formal language and refers to the mythological world. At the same time, there is a little criticism of our time in his sculpture. The man who rises above everything and sees himself as the central point of reference.
Do you like those connections to the old world that has left us so many mysteries? Then I'll show you another figure at the Mündesee before we head towards the city centre. Go three sculptures further, there we read each other again.
The "Gate" is one of my favorite sculptures at the Mündesee. But I also like the work "Unity" by Janis Karlovs. When I first walked along the sculpture promenade, I thought it was the bust of a blind man's buff (the child´s play called “blind cow” in German). Two horns or ears at the top, the next stone the cloth that connects the eyes, then a snout and the last stone represents a bit of an upper body. Done! At the same time I had to think of a place of worship. Worship of the Sacred Cow. A few years later, when I found a source that enlightened me, I was completely off the mark with the image of a cow, but the idea of a place of worship wasn't all that wrong. The artist himself says of his work: "Thousand-year-old stones coming from Scandinavia are scattered far and wide. These stones are lonely and confused. The sculptor, deeply feeling the original forces of nature, lets his viewers feel the power and greatness of eternity in his work. That is a stream of energy that spiritually charges and renews man. Energy flying from antiquity is also such energy that carries centuries forward. It is a great mystery of nature."
The artist creates a link to the past that is passed on from generation to generation, creating a connection to our origins and to our common cultural past.
Let the character work on you in connection with the vastness of the background. Take the time for yourself to connect with the past.
If you want to go to the next station, you can find it on the map and I'll be waiting for you there.
St. Mary's Church/Marienkirche
Hoher Steinweg 12, 16278 Angermünde, DE
You are now on Hohen Steinweg and look at the St. Mary´s Church. In front of the church you can see the sculpture "The Pros and Cons" by Hella Horstmeier from Berlin. The sculptress was represented at the 6th Hard Rock Symposium in the millennium year and worked on her boulder on the monastery square.
The artist, who comes from Wernigerode, has her studio at the Artist Court Buch in the Berlin district of Pankow. The artist court sees itself as a cultural center and place of activity for artists from a wide variety of genres. The artists are happy if you stop by. But please call first!
I would like to quote Hella Horstmeier's own words about the sculpture "The Pros and Cons".
"Again and again I notice that boulders in particular need an intuitive approach, a fundamental clarification of the treatment and the form. They demand the willingness to wait and to meet them impartially.
A track can be seen, highly polished, it leads over the stone and ends in its greatest width at the departure. Here the natural stone allows a piece of its interior to be seen, where light and shadow alternate. Steel comes from it, artificial and hard, and yet not only similar forms can be found, but also contrasting ones. It shows support and guidance at the same time, depending on the point of view and location.
Working with opposites is a recurring theme in my artistic exploration. It is only through them that we can truly experience many things. In this way, what is usually separated is made visible in a connecting way." (Source: Catalog for the Hard Rock Symposium 2000)
City Center - Head by Slawoj Ostrowski (†)/Innenstadt
Brüderstraße 20, 16278 Angermünde, DE
At the monastery it started with a head and here our tour also ends with a head.
Slawoj Ostrowski's (†) work was shaped by many of these minds. The head is the seat of our brain and so it seems that thinking takes precedence over feeling as the body dwells in the stone. The rigid stone that stands unfeeling on the ground and the moderately developed head that remains cool and whose function is superior to that of the body. But the head is small compared to the body. He sits slenderly on broad shoulders that can carry him safely and even defend him.
Stefan Pohl interprets the sculpture in the catalog for the 5th Hard Stone Symposium as follows: "[...] It is precisely the contrasts between head and body, large and small, processed and unprocessed, fine and coarse, naturalistic form and purely plastic mass that suggest the intellectual history disputes about the subject areas mind and body, intellect and sensus or also psyche and instinct. Depending on the viewer, the reflection on the human self-image will shift and have to be answered in an individual form."
The artist, born in Poland in 1943, sadly passed away in March 2018. In addition to his heads, he created classically realistic works. Among other things, the "Günter Grass Bank" in Gdansk, on which a boy is sitting with a tin drum.
Have you enjoyed enough art for now? Do you need a break? Then I recommend you a nice ice cream. Here in the city center you have several options. You can try regional ice cream, soft ice cream, organic ice cream and unusual creations. Find the right ice cream variant for you or enjoy a delicious cake with coffee and strengthen yourself for other activities.
If you want to leave a small expense allowance, you are welcome to do so via Paypal "email@example.com".
I hope to be able to expand the digital foundling tour soon and I would be happy if you would join us again. Until then, I wish you a pleasant time in Angermünde.
Your Kena Hüsers