Florian Germann, Wendigo River / The Crystal Source / Kowloon, 2013
Above: Germann in action at the old Aviation ground in Kowloon. Photographs by Alain Kantarjian, 2013. © Alain Kantarjian
Florian Germann is a Swiss artist who explores the art of interpretation, drawing inspiration across the board from contemporary myths to age-old chimera mixing fictitious scenarios in process-oriented sculptural settings by transmuting materials from one form to another. In the performative work Wendigo River / The Crystal Source / Kowloon, Germann worked throughout the night with his sonic sensitive digging tools, off at the old Aviation ground in Kowloon. The reverberating noises echoed against the sound of night birds and crickets. Germann’s labour intensive night performance was an experimental steer in the direction of his ambitious Wendigo River National Park project, linking his global project with the city of Hong Kong through an underground tunnel. The recorded sounds were later installed on the grounds of the Cattle Depot Artist Village.
The Wendigo National Park River Project is Germann’s fictive scheme revolving around a national park, having carried out research on geological phenomena (e.g. recreating scenarios where one can experience the pyroelectric ability of the mineral Tourmaline or a machine that creates stalagmite-like forms in wax) and forest ranger iconography. A talented alchemist, Germann subverts the norm, tweaking our imagination to believe otherwise. A portion of the title, “Wendigo River” hints at a river named after a mythical creature. Reminiscent of Bigfoot, (other believe it to resemble a werewolf), the Wendigo is said to live in certain areas of Canada and in the northern states of the US. Local legend has it that the creature lives alone in the forest and eats humans. Will the Wendigo traverse his underground tunnel to Hong Kong? What geological phenomena would he come to discover at the former aviation site?
This real-time activitiy was part of From Dusk Till Dawn, which took place May 24, 2013, at Cattle Depot Artist Village, To Kwa Wan.
Florian Germann (b. Thurgau, Switzerland, in 1978) and is an artist based in Zurich, Switzerland. He graduated from the University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland after he trained as stone sculptor and cabinet maker and worked as art restaurateur in 2006. Recent group exhibition include, among others: Artists for Tichy–Tichy for Artists, Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic (2013) and Vordemberge – Gildewart Stipendium, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Lichtenstein (2013). Solo exhibitions were held at the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France (2013) and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (2011). In 2009, Germann received the National Suisse Art Prize, Liste 09 in Basel, Switzerland.
Wendigo River / The Crystal Source / Kowloon, 2013
Tools for real-time activity
Pickaxe with piezo-microphone, shovel with
piezo-microphone, cables and amplifier
Courtesy of the artist
Sketch by the artist. Courtesy of the artist.
Selection of materials to be found in Germann’s ‘source shelf’. Courtesy of the artist.
Above: Photographs of real-time activity by Alain Kantarjian, 2013. © Alain Kantarjian