Denkmal für den permanenten Neuanfang is now due to occupy the spot for the next two years. Genth and Mutter deliberately chose this location on Neumarkt. They have a track record for selecting public places in which to reference a city’s history with their sometimes ironic and sometimes provocative but always complex installations. Dresden is often accused of being obsessed with its own image. In Denkmal für den permanenten Neuanfang, this image has now been subjected to scrutiny from outside.
Behind the project to restore the baroque façades of the Neumarkt project, these two artists sense a conflict between the desire of local people to defend their urban space and the type of architecture favoured by business interests looking for return on investment. And there was something else they saw: “According to our research in Dresden, there is not a single woman apart from Clara Zetkin to whom a monument has been dedicated,” says Genth. The veil and disembodied arm are a reminder of the visible role played by women in the city. “The sphere, on the other hand, stands for perfection,” adds Genth. “It stands for the perfected form, for symbols of power ranging from the globe to the imperial orb, as well as for the pursuit of wholeness. Of all the items in the Green Vault, these spheres immediately fired my imagination, because they have absolutely no decorative function. Although they are from the 16th century, they come across as very modern.”