A ride to Schleißheim Palace with some public art on the way —
November 1, 2018 —
It was looking grey again but after lunch we decided to get our show on the road, no more hanging around and sitting at the computer. Schleissheim is one of our regular cycling destinations, about 30 km round trip and some nice roads along the way. I’ve written up rides to Schleissheim several times already, but if you, dear Readers, are as forgetful as I am, a repeat will do no harm. What I haven’t described in previous outings to Schleissheim, is the art along the way. This, I hope, will bring some variety to the outing.
The first work of art on our way was this green object in a glass cage. I have passed it often but never stopped to take a closer look or wonder what it was supposed to be. My private name for it was Green Piece. Thanks to internet, I now know what its real name is and also what it is supposed to represent. Its title is “Eyes for a Folding Chair Chained to the Tree/Augen für einen am Baum angeketteten Klappstuhl” and was created by the Berlin-based artist Raimund Kummer. If I had known that, I would have looked for the folding chair. If you look closely, you should be able to identify two overdimensional, green eyes, dangling from their optical nerve with the lens pointing downward. Got it? Now I’ll share a pretentious interpretation of the sculpture, a text I found in the Internet.
The Octagon, the octagonal architectural form, is a quotation from the traditional architectural history since antiquity to the baroque and defines prominent and representative buildings, which have an important aesthetic and substantive meaning. Also in Raimund Kummer’s contribution, the octagon assumes this function and gives the place an almost sacral character. The human inner life is exhibited here, presenting the supposed result of a medical examination in a monstrous but aesthetically exaggerated sculpture. Human and animal, plant and artificial form at the same time, the eye becomes the “mirror of the soul” as well as the reflection of the immovable landscape and the constantly changing human presence: In the hovering above the floor, concave glass pupils reflect the immediate environment , Inside and outside, me and the other blur together.
The octagonal pavilion thus becomes an intimate grove in the middle of the surrounding city, a small chapel inside which the “Green Eyes” have taken on the function of a modern statue of saints: they symbolize the soul of the park as well as every single visitor Evangelist Matthew has described metaphorically: “The eye is the body’s light. If your eye is honest, your whole body will be light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be dark. “
We were happy to continue on our way, although we didn’t know yet that we had just viewed two hanging eyeballs. We were now on a bike path in a park that was created when the streetcar tracks to the north of Munich were taken up. I wrote about it HERE, a previous bicycle challenge. On our way to Schleissheim Palace, we had more public art to view.
On the periphery of Munich, there is an art installation made up of a gondola, a docking pier and mooring posts. They are life size and of course they have symbolic meaning. The installation is titled ALITTLELOVE. It’s whimsical to place a gondola on the outskirts of a newly developed residential area, facing an open field that in earlier times was used by the military for tank training. And why is it called ALITTLELOVE? I will let you read for yourselves what an article in the Internet has to say. I find it extremely incomprehensible. The translation is from the Google Translater, but even in the original it didn’t sound much better.
Venice – the word alone arouses associations. You think of noble Palazzi, the Grand Canal or singing Gondolieri. Symbol of our dreams from a distance, these objects were transplanted into the middle of a “completely normal” development area on the outskirts of Munich: the North Heath. The title ALITTLEMORELOVE is to be understood programmatically: through the romance that inevitably brings with it the Venetian cliché, the residents should ideally develop a positive identification with their neighborhood.
The installed objects such as mooring posts, gondola, wooden walkway, historicizing lantern with park bench – both slightly sunken as a reference to Venice – aim primarily at sensual experience and usability and only then on a conceptual horizon of meaning that can open up to the viewer but not necessary. Thus, the adjacent nature reserve is quite similar to a sea, the heath reminds of the canals of the lagoon city. In addition, Elector Max Emanuel once planned a waterway from the residence to Schloss Schleißheim, which would have crossed the present-day Nordheide. These concrete-historical as well as interpretational references are not to be understood as a guideline but only as a suggestion, just as the subtle-Christian imagery … an ark … a romantic shelter against the adversities of urban reality. And where better to revel in romance than on the waves of an imaginary Grand Canal?
After having “reveled in romance on the imaginary waves of the Grand Canal”, we left this “romantic shelter against the adversities of urban reality”. We had a few more traffic free kilometers to Schleissheim Palace, an architectual work of art. The main palace was built 1701-1704 as the new residence for Max Emanuel. The original plans were for a palace that could compete with Versailles. They were never completed but what remains is extravagant enough. The baroque architecture is impressive and fortunately today the palace and park grounds are open to the public.
As the day progressed, the weather got better and better, and finally the sun came out. Now where to support the local economy? The cafes we looked at were either closed or full due to the holiday, All Saints Day. Finally we settled for the tried and true solution of buying a piece of cake, chocolate cake with cherries, and consuming it at home with home brewed coffee and tea.