As dusk falls, wondrous sequences of words will shine in deep blue on the façade of the Brüder Grimm Haus at Turmstraße 75 from 10 December 2020: AUS – MAUS – MUS – RAUS – RAU – REH – RUM.
“15 Letters – 101 Words” is an artistic intervention by Penelope Wehrli over the lettering on the Brüder Grimm Haus building, which begins this evening as a year-long word-light play as part of the DraußenStadt initiative. The name BRÜDER-GRIMM-HAUS identifies – usually little noticed by passers-by – the historic house in Turmstraße, which with all its institutions has been dedicated to art, culture and further education for decades.
Penelope Wehrli places the name above the window front of the Galerie Nord | Kunstverein Tiergarten at the centre of her installation. The individual letters of the three words form the material for her artistic work and the puns she has composed, some unusual, some absurd, shine in the most varied combinations, speeds and rhythms. They make references to the German dictionary of the Brothers Grimm and give rise to images of their collection of fairy tales. The overriding of syntactical references and the use of tonal sound sequences evoke associations with comics, trash art and Dada.
Our language is a living organism and is in a state of permanent change. Letters and sounds become words, they are shaped, written and spoken. They denote and generate consciousness and meaning. They play with meaning, are the medium of our culture and create a sense of belonging. Again and again, new words and terms are created – or disappear from our vocabulary, for fashionable or socio-political reasons, sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly, accompanied by a feeling of relief or regret.
Language crashes, cuts, sings. Be it crude, precise or poetic: it opens up spaces for imagination, sound and feeling. With her intervention, Penelope Wehrli not only raises awareness of the name of the house, but above all of the vitality of culture and language.
Concept/Realisation: Penelope Wehrli
Curated by: Veronika Witte
Lighting control: Joa Glasstetter
With the kind support of the Office for Further Education and Culture and DraußenStadt of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.