Artwork: Stefan Rinck, „Why I bear / Großer Lastenbär“, 2021 Sandstone, 170 x 185 x 120 cm (Photo: KvW)
A much-acclaimed work of art in the exhibition Points of Resistance, which was presented in April 2021 in the Zionskirche in Berlin, was the “Little Burden Bear” by the stone sculptor Stefan Rinck. Feedback on this work gave rise to the idea of a symbolic, large version of the Lastenbär for public spaces, which could now be realised. On 9 November 2021, the inauguration of the work will be celebrated at the future location of Zionskirche, which has been fixed for two years, embedded in an extensive programme of events.
With the great support of all those involved, including the responsible Berlin authorities, this idea for the publicly exhibited work of art became reality within six months. Inspired by the great attention of the visitors, subsequently conceived for public space and deliberately placed in this context, the large “Lastenbär” by Stefan Rinck (*1973) at the Zionskirche in Berlin-Mitte can now soon become relevant, effective everyday culture. The monumental sandstone work “Why I bear /Grosser Lastenbär” was created in 2021 and was made of Elbe sandstone. The work measures 185 x 170 x 120 cm. The large sculpture is a new version of the small “Lastenbär” by Stefan Rinck from 2007.
This bear of burden was his contribution to the group exhibition “Points of Resistance”, which was shown in Berlin’s Zionskirche at a time of the strictest Corona shutdown, together with contributions by over 50 internationally renowned artists, and which was described in the Tagesspiegel as an “Easter miracle”. This exhibition contribution touched a particularly large number of people – regardless of age, denomination, political affiliation or social status: a bear that is actually too small but nevertheless carries its load that is actually too big. This evoked spontaneous empathy among the viewers. His indomitability amazed and inspired. Regardless of whether it was an art audience or not: the “Lastenbär” immediately became a projection surface for private, social and political themes.
Obviously, especially in times of crisis, works of art are able to connect, uplift and motivate people. Works of art are gateways to memory, but above all to new spaces of thought and the future. The sculpture “Why I bear / Großer Lastenbär” can obviously do that. The erection of the large version of the Lastenbär is meant to be a unifying sign for all those who are motivated by the joy of their own reflection and the desire to determine their own point of view, not just their own lives. The sculpture will be visible in the public space at Berlin’s Zion Church for two years from 9 November 2021.
Artwork + Artist
The title for the large version of the bear has been expanded by the artist in a way that is as playful as it is light-footed. The big bear of burden now communicates itself and its mission more clearly: “Why I bear / Grosser Lastenbär”. This plays with the word identity in English of “bear” and “carry” and shows: “Why I carry” can mean: ” … because I have the will to do it. …” The mysterious work of Stefan Rinck creates fantastic counter-images to everyday human life, shows allegorically the condition humaine – a burlesque, grotesque pandemonium of liberating humour against all rules of taste and inculcated behavioural rituals. In doing so, it repeatedly seeks artistic correspondence with “primitive” archaic and medieval works, is antiposition to abstract modernisms.
In Stefan Rinck’s work, a vital production of initially rather small-format, figurative and narrative stone sculptures began around 2005. The works repeatedly take up the motif world of African masks and the sculptural vocabulary of rituals around the Mexican pyramids. Examples of such striking individual figures in Stefan Rinck’s work include the Cruisader, the Monkey with the Mirror, the Nautilus, the Racist, the Maitre de Plaisir, the Buffone, the Chained Ferret and the Rabbit with Soul Scales. In particular, the mystical-demonic world of figures in Romanesque cathedrals was the inspiration here – be it with their gargoyles, tympana or capitals, which as pictorial works had the task of warding off ominous chimeras.
Stefan Rinck’s works are now being shown internationally, for example in Madrid at the Arco art fair in 2020, at Art Basel Miami in 2019 and at the Jardin de Tuileries at FIAC in the same year. A film about his sculptural work (“A Heart of Stone”) recently celebrated its premiere in Berlin. Stefan Rinck now works with leading galleries and receives invitations to museum exhibitions all over the world. He is currently showing his latest works, over 5 m high, at this year’s FIAC in Paris.
For interested collectors + supporters a bronze edition was issued
Stefan Rinck, “Lastenbär”, 2021, bronze edition, 1/10, edition 10 + 3AP (size of the original sculpture from 2007 made of sandstone)
3D Tour Zionskirche | Point Of Résistance | Galerie KLEINERVONWIESE by ART@Berlin
WHEN + WHERE?
Tuesday, 9th November 2021 in the public space at Zionskirche, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
Begrüßung + Einführung
Inauguration of the scuplture by Stefan Rinck „Why I bear / Großer Lastenbär“, 2021
Film HERZ AUS STEIN
A film by Sonja Baeger about the stone sculptuor Stefan Rinck, D-2021 31 min German with English Subtitles
Panel talk with David Elliott „TAKING FLIGHT: birds & bicycles Berlin“ with David Elliott and amongst others with Dr. Rachel Rits-Volloch, Director MOMENTUM BERLIN
13.00 Uhr – 13.30 Uhr
Video-Screening AES+F / Allegoria Sacra
Afterwards Get-Together in public space in front of the church
Registration 11.00 – 13:30 Uhr (90 places in the church each for 2 households):
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.points-of-resistance.org
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Welcome + Introduction
Inauguration of the sculpture by Stefan Rinck „Why I bear / Großer Lastenbär“, 2021
Film HERZ AUS STEIN
A film by Sonja Baeger about the stone sculptor Stefan Rinck, D-2021 31 min German with English subtitles
Christian Posthofen „Heterotopien – Die Kirche, der Widerstand und der Bär“
The historic Zion Church as a site in Berlin-Mitte can also be described loosely according to Michel Foucault as a heterotopia – as a realised, actually built utopia that can be used to read social conditions in a special way. The three relational elements: church, resistance and bear each have a disturbing to empowering imaginative potential. Material and immaterial, mental-emotional structural elements meet here and create situations for special spaces of possibility in this place. Christian Posthofen lives and works in Berlin and teaches philosophy at the ETH in Zurich.
Intermission + concert admission
Concert TRES MOMENTOS
Concert by Sven Helbig, conducted by Wilhelm Keitel
“Tres Momentos” describes a section of the infinite spiral in which disorder and structure, the sacred and the profane, life and death are interdependent. The lightness of an inexplicable, fleeting idea or affection is followed by unconditional will. Mechanical habit first becomes compulsion and later uncontrollable violence, which finally collapses and dissolves in a melancholic, whimsical waltz.
22.00 – 22.30 Uhr
Video-Screening AES+F / Allegoria Sacra
The evening schedule
After the welcome, the film by the artist Sonja Baeger about Stefan Rinck / HERZ AUS STEIN (30min) will be shown on a large screen next to the altar in the church. Afterwards there will be a greeting by the philosopher and architectural theorist Christian Posthofen “Heterotopias – The Church, the Resistance and the Bear”. Afterwards break + 2nd admission for all those who only want to come to the concert. After this 2nd admission from 8.30 p.m., the concert TRES MOMENTOS will begin at 9 p.m. At the end, the work “Allegoria Sacra” by AES+F will be shown as a video screening.
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ADMISSION + TICKETS
Tickets are only required for the concert at 9 pm as part of the evening event (2G). Every concert visitor is welcome to experience the full evening programme and join in from the 1st admission at 6.00 pm (admission free for all). For all, ticket holders, a seat is preferentially reserved.
There will also be a morning event from 11.00 a.m. (3G / also free admission) with a panel discussion “TAKING FLIGHT: birds & bicycles Berlin” with David Elliott as well as with Dr. Rachel Rits-Volloch, Director MOMENTUM BERLIN, among others.