"Sailing on a wine-dark sea to people of another tongue" - the quotation from Homer's Odyssey has adorned the Eiserne Steg in ancient Greek script since 1999. The inscription is by Hagen Bonifer.
For the Luminale, the artist has once again developed a site-specific concept and once again builds a bridge - literally - to the Greek mythology of antiquity. The words of Hyperion from Hölderlin's novel of the same name are at the heart of the temporary installation.
Like a meandering ribbon they cross the river at the base of the bridge, traverse Homer’s quote inscribed above the footbridge. With and through Hyperion, Hölderlin speaks to us before returning to Greece "[...] but where a nation love beauty, where it honors the genius in its artists, there wafts the breath of life, a common spirit. There, opens the timid mind, pride melts away, and piety and greatness are born, and hearts and heroes give birth to passion. The homeland of all humans is with such a nation, among whom, the stranger may pleasurably linger." Thus, Hölderlin's words enter into dialogue with Homer's departure for new shores.
The quotation is set in self-illuminating foil on the foot of the Eiserne Steg. Although the use of capital letters makes it more difficult to read, their enigmatic character is enhanced and the reader cannot so easily skim through the words that inevitably enter into a discourse, thus becoming a part of the temporary installation.
Offenbach-based artist Hagen Bonifer works in the field of conceptual and interdisciplinary art and cultural exchange. Best known for his textual installations, the painting cycle "Vom Nutzen zu zweifeln: 2 Juni 1967" and the inscription on the Eiserne Steg. His works are to be found in both, sacral and public spaces. Resident in Mühlheim am Main, Hagen Bonifer works as a stage designer, both at home and abroad.