The Karavan Ensemble were invited to make a site-specific performance as part of the celebrations for the work of Yael’s father Dani Karavan at The Ludwig Museum, next to Cologne Cathedral.  Landscape artist Dani Karavan designed the public square ‘Heinrich-Boll-Platz’ 25 years ago, a sculptural work immediately outside the Ludwig Museum called Ma’alot.

It was built in partnership with the Museum’s architects Peter Busmann and Godfrid Haberer.  As we happened to be in Koln that week for the CityLeaks festival we met up with Dani and Peter Busmann and listened as they explained how the work had evolved from an intention to retain a sense of emptiness in a public space which marks the most central and well-trodden space in Koln.  The work inhabits a wide area with different aspects using lines, cyclical formations and varying levels and is located directly above the Symphony Hall lying melodiously buried underneath.  In a direct response, the Ensemble created a choreography that directed the movement and gaze of the audience throughout the entire landscape. Pedestrians and cyclists were stopped in their tracks as we interrupted the busy thoroughfare between the train station, river and cathedral.

The performance was regarded as an opportunity to raise the profile of Karavan’s work again after 25 years and its significance to the city.  A support group are currently raising funds to maintain the artwork as well as the symphony hall. Due to the success of the evening performance, The Ensemble have been invited to return to Koln next year for a different site-specific work in a disused building being developed as a new art space.

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Photos above Claire Wearn
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