Experiment No. 7: a flip

I keep returning to the fundamentals of monuments.To sizes and shapes.

Why is the definition of a monument this: a statue, building, or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event?

How to see this phallic, erected shape as a commemoration of women?

How to turn this memorial around?

Few years back I encountered a monument that was turned around.

It was in the autumn 2012, when Hanna and I visited the Kassel dOCUMENTA together with our curating class. We had just started our curatorial studies and I was overwhelmed and a bit terrified (both by the overdose of art in dOCUMENTA and and by the ambiguous field of curating, which I was just about to dive into).

We were walking through the Rathausplatz in Kassel when we saw the astonishing monument. Or actually we didn’t even notice it, but it was pointed out for us. The “Aschrott Fountain” (1987) by Horst Hoheisel. A fountain placed upside down, below the ground surface.

Hoheisel’s fountain is a negative of the original Aschrott fountain, which was desmolished by Nazi activists in 1939. Instead of pointing to the sky with it’s 12 meter obelisk, Hoheisel’s fountain points 12 meters into the deep underground.

The water runs downwards and it collects all possible dirt and trash that falls into it. Since 1987, Hoheisel has cleaned the work in every month except December.

Hoheseil calls his monument an anti-monument.
In the presence of this fountain, in the absence of the monument, we were able to reflect loss and disappearance.

Sketch for the Aschrott fountain by Horst Hoheisel, 1987. Source: http://chgs.umn.edu/museum/memorials/hoheisel/images/drawing.jpg
Horst Hoheisel preparing to clean the memorial in Rathausplatz, Kassel. Septermber 2012. Photograph: Hanna Ohtonen
Coming back to the question, of how to turn around this memorial to women in times of war?I’ll do an experiment.

Few weeks ago I was browsing through Facebook as I came across a 3D animation of a sex reassignment surgery. I watched the video, where a penis and testicles are surgically reassigned into a vagina and clitoris, and I thought it was somehow mesmerizing.

How would it work, if I followed the steps of the surgery and attempted to turn this erected structure into a more grounded, evulving shape?