Die Zwangsarbeiter - Erinnerungsort in der Völklinger Hütte

Christian Boltanski: Die Zwangsarbeiter - Erinnerungsort in der Völklinger Hütte
Christian Boltanski: Die Zwangsarbeiter - Erinnerungsort in der Völklinger Hütte Christian Boltanski: Die Zwangsarbeiter - Erinnerungsort in der Völklinger Hütte

Over the past few years, the Völklinger Hütte World Heritage Site has conducted and presented extensive research into forced labourers at Völklinger Hütte. The internationally renowned French artist Christian Boltanski has now created a memorial for the people who were forced to work at Völklinger Hütte. The result is an emotional work of art that keeps the memory of these people alive. The major installation by Christian Boltanski in the Völklinger Hütte sintering plant engages with the issue of forced labour in a new and deeply moving way.

Over the course of the Second World War, 12,393 men, women and children from twenty countries were registered as forced labourers at Völklinger Hütte. Of these, 261 lost their lives, sixty of them children and infants. These people can be encountered between the claustrophobic walls of this archive of memories, with its seemingly endless stacks of archive boxes.

Here and there, visitors catch a glimpse of a number, or of black trousers and jackets piled into a mountain of clothes. Meanwhile, the names of the forced labourers are whispered from all corners of the installation, sending shivers down the spine. Boltanski’s installation instantly transports visitors to another world.

Intallation Data:
Christian Boltanski: Forced Labourers – Memorial at Völklinger Hütte
Sintering plant, 2018
Mixed media, metal archive boxes, clothes, light, sound (the names of the forced labourers whispered in Völklinger Hütte) Dimensions: 3.3 x 6 x 18 m

Duration of the exhibition: from 1st November 2018 until unlimited

Tags

  • Christian Boltanski
  • forced labourers
  • Memorial

Member

Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte - Europäisches Zentrum für Kunst und Industriekultur

The Völklinger Hütte World Heritage Site is the only fully preserved ironworks of industrial culture. Covering an area of more than 600.000 m2, the gigantic ironworks are a must-see attraction for anyone seeking the exceptional. On a tiny space it displays a collection of milestones in high technology of the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the Völklinger Hütte forms part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, like the Cheops pyramid in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athen and Cologne Cathedral.

Where once there were chimneys smoking and a deafening noise was part of everyday work, is now a place of concerts and large-scale exhibitions.