490 Knitted Houses

OPENING TALK for the installation 490 Strickhäuser wider das Vergessen by Stephanie Rhode (NL/DE) in Gunzenhausen (DE) and article for the catalogue (DE/ENG)
June 2011
Gunzenhausen || Germany
from Stephanie Rhode’s website

For two days the Market place of Gunzenhausen was the centre of an installation by the Artist Stephanie Rhode from Amsterdam. 490 houses with knitted facades were set up. In a very special way they brought back to life the memory of members of the Jewish community throughout time.

Rhode mobilised numerous people from Germany and other country’s all over the world to knit covers to form facades for simple miniature houses. These (houses?) were set up at the market place as part of an intense operation lasting two days to bring back to memory the homes of former Jewish citizens to participants and visitors alike.

The installation, the knitting people as well as phrases from conversations between the artist and participants during and after the exhibition were documented in a book.
The installation continued to have an effect, even after the knitted houses had been taken down, because every house rested on a purposely positioned piece of gold leaf on the ground of the market place. As the remaining outlines of gold leaf, reminiscent of the houses, wore away in the everyday life of the market place, we were reminded that something used to be there.