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Art in Lichthof

Contemporary art statements in the atrium Lichthof, next to Toll Tower

As Frankfurt's Historical Museum, we confront the past, present and future of our city. Contemporary (Frankfurt) artistic statements can also be found frequently throughout the museum. Now we have created a special space for contemporary art interventions: In the atrium Lichthof, a small, very high and atmospheric space next to the Rententurm (Toll Tower) we will be inviting artists to present contemporary works.

The Lichthof is an in-between space, located between eras, centuries, and literally between the former 16th century city fortifications and foyer of the new museum complex, completed in 2018. It also stands between the inside and outside, since the Rententurm once formed the city’s outer boundary and is now integrated into the museum. Partially exposed, it is visible from within and was even opened to the public for the very first time in 2012.

The artistic statements in this in-between space will also be dealing precisely with the themes of time and space, beginning with sculptor Birgit Cauer's experimental sculpture LITHO VITAL. One of the central issues constantly driving Birgit Cauer's work (born 1961 in Frankfurt am Main) is the question of the origins of life. She deals artistically with the fascinating and hard to imagine process that results in living stone formations, re-creating it in an experimental way, and making its traces visible. In doing so, she produces sculptures, drawings, experimental arrangements and projects in public spaces - some also participatory - in which activating the energetic potential inherent in the respective material and space plays a central role.

LITHO VITAL is a continuation of her current work with acid and salts on limestone, in which the erosion and decomposition of rocks play a particular role. The sculptor lets the stone, the acid, as well as time itself work - an extension of the sculptural process as it were, as well as an artistic research. The artist created the conditions for this process: during a two-month working stay in Peccia/Ticino, she continuously sprinkled hydrochloric acid onto a block of Cristallina marble. The acid left its traces in the 250-million-year-old stone: craters, cavities and crevices formed, resembling natural corrosion processes and reminiscent of karst landscapes and moulins, or glacial mills. The sculptor recreated and extremely shortened these millions of years of temporal processes in a laboratory situation reminiscent of an intensive care unit.

Using the sculptural means at her disposal, she has hollowed out and perforated her counterpart, creating sight lines that make the interior of the large stones visible. In this way, Cauer creates images representing the earliest living and protective spaces hidden within layers of rock.

Explore more on the artist's homepage: www.bcauer.de