The artwork "Monument" makes a statement
As part of "Am Fluss / At the River" and Dresden's commemoration of the victims of war and violence, the large artistic installation "Monument" by the German-Syrian artist Manaf Halbouni, a graduate of the Dresden University of Fine Arts, sets an example for peace, freedom and humanity.
The artwork "Monument"
Manaf Halbouni's "Monument" refers to the current situation in Syria. The motif of the erected buses takes up an image from Aleppo that went through the media in March 2015: it shows a street in the eastern part of the city, shielded by three wrecked buses, which were provisionally braced with wire ropes between the houses. One of countless roadblocks that civilians set up during the fighting in the city to protect people's lives. Large parts of Aleppo, the once vibrant historic city, the thriving industrial heart of Syria, have been in ruins since the fighting. Even after the end of hostilities, it will take decades before chaos and destruction are overcome and people can live a daily life without fear.
The Dresden Neumarkt site
Human suffering and destroyed cities: the current images from Syria remind us of the consequences of past wars around the world, and older people in particular think of the suffering they themselves experienced and of the immeasurable efforts of reconstruction in the cities of Europe after the Second World War. It took half a century to rebuild the Frauenkirche in Dresden, and the traces of the war, which took place more than seventy years ago, can still be seen today in many European cities. These traces in the restored urban structures and buildings are an important theme of local and national cultures of remembrance.
The location for the "monument" was chosen deliberately. The Frauenkirche and the Neumarkt today stand as symbols for the war that has been overcome and for reconstruction - not only for the reconstruction of buildings, but also for the long road to a society in which people can live in peace and freedom. By placing the three buses in front of the Frauenkirche, Manaf Halbouni creates a tangible connection between the people and fates in the Middle East and in Europe: their suffering and unspeakable losses, but also their hope for reconstruction and peace. On February 13, 2017, the kick-off of the human chain in memory of the victims of war and violence of the present and the past will take place with the Lord Mayor of the state capital Dresden, Dirk Hilbert, will take place at the "Monument".
Martina de Maizière, board of the Foundation of Art & Music for Dresden:
"With his "Monument" in front of the Frauenkirche, Manaf Halbouni creates a connection between Dresden and the world, between history and the present, that is visible from afar. The work of art encourages dialogue, especially here and now. It was important to the Foundation of Art & Music for Dresden to promote this courageous and publicly effective art project and to initiate a broad network of supporters. We are particularly pleased about the partnership with the Military History Museum of the German Armed Forces. Together we will shape an open, constructive discourse."
February 8 until April 3, 2017
About MANAF HALBOUNI
Manaf Halbouni was born and raised in Damascus, Syria, the son of a Dresden native and a Damascene native. He studied sculpture at the University of Fine Arts in Damascus and continued his studies at the University of Fine Arts after moving to Dresden in 2008.
Works of the artist, who deals in his sculptural works with current political and social issues such as the civil war in his native Syria, have already been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany, England and France.