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exhibition, Markus Heinsdorff, installation, Buchheim Museum, Bernried, Starnberger See

A Space Ship as Living Space

Heinsdorff, whose art projects often examine ecological and social issues, wants the Space Ship installation to make suggestions concerning life in the time of climate change as well as simple, inexpensive building methods.

His basic idea is simple: instead of fleeing floods or trying to protect our homes from the rising water, we should just let our houses float. In this sense, his ark is designed as a mobile home that contains everything necessary for survival: a place to sleep, a living area and a solar shower, all topped by an observation platform with a desk. Hitched to this, there is even a private vegetable garden to ensure self-sufficiency.

All the materials used in this collapsible, light construction come from the DIY shop and allow a wide variety of possible combinations and additions. The framework consists of ordinary steel profiles used in drywall construction and is supported by recycled oil barrels which create buoyancy. Photovoltaic modules have been installed to provide energy.

However, despite all its practical applications, the artist sees his Space Ship first and foremost as a sculpture. He cannot, nor does he want to, provide any plans as solutions to urgent problems. Rather, he offers impulses and food for thought, for instance about life and survival on water. Or merely on the topic of water itself, which as our fundamental elixir of life can take on the most diverse forms: as a beautiful lake it evokes feelings of romance and invites visitors to relax. On the other hand, in the form of a flood it can quickly represent a danger – there is no limit to our imagination. On opening day, the audience proved to be just as imaginative in their interpretations. Indeed, on that sunny day the art fans who had reached the installation via shuttle boats were quickly and casually joined by bathers whose curiosity had been piqued.

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