The Berlin-based Artist Duo Quintessenz was invited to create one of their installative artworks for the Metropolink Festival in Heidelberg – the hometown of MONTANA-CANS. Usually working with a wide range of different media, they chose to stick with their well-known geometric aesthetic for the installation placed on a meadow in the middle of Heidelbergs city centre. QUINTESSENZ INSTALLATION HEIDELBERG
The process pictures show the accurate work of the two, it took them several days to finish the all wooden abstract sculptures. Using the Montana GOLD LINE the duo managed to achieve the smoothest gradient – thanks to the balanced color range it offers.
Bismarckplatz is a well-known public square here in the city of Heidelberg. How did you feel about working in a public environment?
QUINTESSENZ: In the first moment it was quite strange to work in such a public space the entire day. Especially these kind of people that hung out at this place seemed weird. We heard that in the park at the Bismarckplatz usually people don’t hang around. We had the same feeling when we were working there the first day, people used the park to walk through and not to chill. After the 5 days of very intensive work, we became “normal” within the space. The people that gathered around accepted us, the kids of the Romanian Street Musicians helped us carry wood, the homeless guy guarded our installation by night and got wood from us for his next day’s barbecue. A random rastafarai helped us carry things, someone gave us cake and a guy that probably doesn’t have much money wanted to give us a tip because he liked our work and the energy we have. Anyway, after these days some of these forgotten people of society, the homeless, the crazy ones, the alcoholics, became a face and a personality for us. Even at the last day when both sides (we and them) noticed that we’ll leave, it became more intense, more questions more conversations, more background stories of these people. They probably didn’t see a reason or the sense of our installation but they accepted it. That weird new thing in their park.
The name of the installation is „Collusion“ it also means communication and settlement.QUINTESSENZ
Has the space contributed to the concept of your sculptures? What is the Title of your recent work?
QUINTESSENZ: When Metropolink suggested us this place they gave us the information about the everyday life in the park. Not many people chilled in this place and the most people just passed by. An aspect that brought us to our concept. You can’t get what is happing in the installation, you don’t get it if you just walk by. The installation is suppose to bring the people into a discovery mood. You have to walk around and into it to understand it. Like kids do. We watched them how they reacted to our sculpture during our building phase. They literally jumped into our colorful sculpture, they climbed over it and hid under the little „roofs“. They discovered it because this object doesn’t look like any other everyday objects in the city. Since the installation is finished, people hang out in, under and right next to the installation. The name of the installation is „Collusion“ it also means communication and settlement.
The graphic, yet mysterious artwork intervenes perfectly with the space it is in. It will be exhibited throughout the next months, so feel invited to take a closer look at it at Bismarckplatz, Heidelberg!
You two usually work with geometric forms. Which role does color play in your concepts?
QUINTESSENZ: There are always two obvious parameter in our installations, it’s the color scheme and the geometric shapes. Most of the time one of the parameter is site specific to the place where we build or paint. One parameter adapts to the environment, the other one gives a contrast to the environment. In this case at Bismarckplatz, we adapt to the sociological aspects of the place. The people and their manners in that park. Building and installation that invites to chill under it and to pause for a few minutes. The homeless sleep under the little roofs, the kids hide between the walls and some people are just reading a book and using the installation walls as a back rest. Geometric forms give the base for our color, it underlines it and gives the color more character. It helps the color to communicate with the environment, even if we do side specific works. The simplicity and complexity of geometry at the same time is really inspiring for us.
What do you get inspired by?
QUINTESSENZ: There are plenty things that inspire us. We both inspire each other, we discuss we fight we talk about our ideas. Most ideas come during a process while we plan or build another piece of art. Lots of things are come up in your mind if you have to cut, paint and glue 3 tons of wood 🙂 Also the mixture of analogue handwork and digital computer work is really inspiring. It also brings a lot of new influences and impressions if your working place is always in another environment, with other people in another city. Right now we don’t have the time to sit down and spend plenty of time, to talk and sketch new ideas, this is happening while we work on an current project, so automatically the new project gets inspired by the current project. It somehow relates to it, even if it looks different. Lot’s of ideas come up when we experiment in our studios or while we’re moving in our transporter on the way to the next construction site.
You two were exclusively working with the Montana GOLD LINE on your last project. What do you like about it?
QUINTESSENZ: Honestly we didn’t work a lot before with the Gold Line. But we’re very happy with the fertility of the cans. Because of the main focus on colors in our works its very important that the color palette is fine and smooth. It’s really important that for example the brighter red next to the normal red is not in another hue angle and the same with other color shades. The Gold Line has really nice shades and nuances, perfect for our work.
Working with a wide range of media: how do you establish which material works best for a certain project?
QUINTESSENZ: It’s always a matter of budget, transport and place. We really would like to plan without any budget boarders, but it also brings more creativity not having endless budgets. We always try to find material that is easy to handle. It’s fun to play with material that’s normaly used for other things, like the reinforcement material we use a lot. Perfect material, easy to handle, not heavy and very tough. Of course it’s always about the lifetime of an installation, we use different material when the installation is inside compare to the outside ones. Some installations just stand one week some half a year, in this case we look on the quality of the material we use. At the end the material has to fit to our own requirements. Our installations are suppose to look digital if you stand in front of it. If the material brings these aesthetics we work with it. It’s always a new and great experience if you work with new material, you never know exactly how it performs in the end. This is really exciting.
How did you form as a duo initially?
QUINTESSENZ: We started as a large collective in 2008 with most of our graffiti crew mates and friends. Thomas and I got to know each other in 2006. We started the Quintessenz thing because of the will to break out of typical lettering. We loved the scene and their quite conservative rules but we wanted to move it for us in another direction. Since 2012 Thomas and I are doing Quintessenz by ourselves. He finished his Master of Arts as an Communication designer in 2011, I did my Diploma in Color Design in 2010. Almost everything came automatically, nothing was really planed, we nearly followed our passion and our hearts. The goal was and still is, being happy, and doing this as well as we can. No matter what people think we are, whether it be Artists, Designers, UrbanArtists, Street-Artist, a Duo, a Collective or just two dudes that want to realize their ideas. Next year we have been working together 10 years. It’s quite long, but it has become better and better. We’re looking forward to the next 10 years! One Love
All images by Montana Cans – Manuel Wagner