Beloved Martina, cement
Beloved Martina was commissioned by STOA169: The Artist Column Hall in Polling and represents Hermaphroditus, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite who merged bodies with the water nymph Salmacis to become an androgynous form, a creature of both sexes. The figure is modeled after the Greek sculpture ‘Hermaphroditus’ (date unknown) presently in the collection of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden, and it is inspired by ‘Beloved Martina’ (2016), a series of ten small-scale, sandstone 3D prints depicting Hermaphroditus. Exhibited in a museum-like installation, the sculptures confront the institutional drive to classify and define with an authoritative gaze.
STOA169: The Artist Column Hall in Polling is a hall of art in the middle of nature, supported by over 100 individually designed columns, created by internationally renowned artists from all over the world: the artist Bernd Zimmer has been pursuing this idea and its realization for almost 30 years. On a part of an agricultural meadow near the village of Polling, on the banks of the river Ammer, in the middle of Pfaffenwinkel, an open columned hall is being built: the STOA169. Artists from all continents were selected to design one column each, which together, as an archive of today’s art, would carry the common roof of the STOA169.
The artist Bernd Zimmer developed the idea for this project already in 1990 on a journey through South India. The impressive porticoes of the Hindu temples, where each column is individually shaped, inspired him to the idea of the STOA169. The STOA169 sets a common sign for worldwide peaceful coexistence, solidarity, international understanding and respect for nature.
Visitors can only reach the columned hall on foot. From the car park near the railway station, it takes about ten minutes to walk up the Ammer in the most beautiful surroundings along a path that can be used for agriculture to a closed river loop. There, the view to the columned hall opens up. “It is important to me that in this place the uniqueness of nature can be perceived simultaneously with art,” says Bernd Zimmer.