Wieviel Stück? (How Many Pieces?) is an arrangement of eleven life-size plaster figures. The grouping has evolved over a ten-year period. The various pieces were all formed from an initial figure. This matrix figure, The Shade, is floating in from the left rear in the current arrangement. Read more
Whistling Amazing Grace For All Our Heroic Troops
Wieviel Stück? (How Many Pieces?) is an arrangement of eleven life-size plaster figures. The grouping has evolved over a ten-year period. The various pieces were all formed from an initial figure. This matrix figure, The Shade, is floating in from the left rear in the current arrangement.
Later, I felt compelled to stand this figure up, resulting in Mr. Confidence, uncertainly standing in the center.
I made several more variations, A Piece of String (picking up a piece of yellow string) and Help Me! (on the ground with his arm uplifted).
A preliminary grouping of five figures was shown in 1996 at Drexel University as part of the Interfaith Council of the Holocaust conference.
This sculptural group is not a Holocaust piece. As an artist, I would not presume to tackle a subject of such magnitude. And yet I believe that the Holocaust was the most significant event in our lifetime. In my opinion we are living in the afterglow of this experience, and it profoundly washes over us, affecting us in many ways, not all of them good. Progress and Enlightenment still seem to be over the horizon, mired in the dark.
Various individual figures in this set were made over the last five years. They include Shelfman (in the back left on his shelf), Headstander (rear center), Candlelighter (at his altar), The Reflective One (with his mirror), Shattered (shocked, falling figure), Beggar/Thief (in corner) and Burrowman (in fetal position).
To me these figures speak of the world in which we live today. A weight sits upon them, each in a different way. It appears in their detachment, in their exhaustion, in their nonchalance, in their numbness, etc., etc.
Yet, I would not ignore the presence of the Comic, in the old sense of the word.
The title, Wieviel Stück?, comes from Primo Levi’s book If This is a Man. Primo Levi was a great human being, with a tremendous ability to empathize.
An alternative reading, also by the artist:
An address to the literal minded in the Haverford Community
We have all noted with rising expectations the gigantic edifice being built on the south campus over the last several years. Let our hopes catch up with the magnificence of this financial enterprise! Unbeknownst to most, slightly west and slightly south of the INSC, there has been a parallel ongoing. A team of international archeologists, some from Ardmore, has been digging up various artifacts from what is believed to be a former “bog”. A renowned local topographical-psychologist noted the unusualness of a bog being located on a hilltop, but such are the facts.
The results of this dig have been somewhat perplexing. Little is known of the “culture” that produced these works, yet there is continued work to try to fill in the gaps, which are considerable. Can we afford, at the present time, to live in a situation of such uncertainty?
The aforementioned archeologists, now mostly dispersed for lack of adequate, well, of adequate anything, have pieced together what they can of this “find”, and we see the results before us. From the placement and arrangement of the pieces upon recovery, a facsimile grouping has been assembled. This seems to be exactly how they were, and yet there are doubts, as it also does seem that there are even more items yet to be recovered. A passing student, perhaps a student of the German languages, was overheard to say, almost inaudibly, to one of the women archeologists, “Wieviel Stück?” The woman archeologist took due note of what she thought she heard, and this term, this expression has become the nominal assignation of this work.
If, after reading this, one seeks more documentation, there is an audio tour available at the desk.