Jakob Wirth

washed away

washed away

Public Happening. Nürnberg. 2021. Collaboration with Wolfgang Karl May.

#soap #wall #act_of_purification #socialskin #temporality

The work combines three elements: the castle wall, as a symbol of security and protection, but also of isolation and the drawing of boundaries; soap, as a symbol of purification and as an everyday object, present/ ubiquitous not only during the COVID-19 pandemic; and temporality, in the form of bursting soap bubbles that make transience and uncertainty tangible.

The wall experiences an act of purification through the work. An attempt is made to wash away what cannot really be washed away – danger, uncertainty, history in the form of sediment. In this process, we take the city wall, which encloses the innermost part of the city, as the skin of the social body, on which the individual experience of the pandemic becomes collectively visible. On a biochemical level, soap provokes distance between the skin and the viruses, making them washable. Washing, therefore, appears as a ritual of protection and security. Finally, temporality becomes visible in the form of the ephemeral soap bubbles. The foam leaves hardly any trace it enchants, and is at the same time unpredictable. A pandemic whose residues are ephemeral? What comes after the bubbles burst?

This work was realized as part of the public program “Lost and Found,” organized by the City of Nürnberg.

Press (selection)

Nürnberger Nachrichten

Photos: © Rudi Ott, Lowres Kirschner