• wehr-art-and-architecture-01


New building of Firehouse II, Mainz DE 2011

Commissioned by City of Mainz
Supervision: Amt für Projektentwicklung und Bauen

A sculpture is mounted on the exterior wall of the new firehouse. At first sight, it looks like a makeshift ladder. At the same time, one recognizes that the “ladder” is formed of enlarged and perspectivally transformed matchsticks spelling out the word “WEHR” (German for protection/defense and the second half of the German word Feuerwehr = fire department, fire brigade). This unexpected meaning, as if hidden in a picture puzzle, results from the associative combining of the word WEHR and the word’s matchstick substrate standing for FEUER, fire.
The wall forms the background for the associatively charged interplay between the material object, basal typography, and complex play of shadows, whereby the various ways of reading the sculpture – as perspectivally shaped ladder object and as legible word – lend the work an intelligent ambiguity.

Photos: Matthias Matzak