Symbol of Solidarity
by Géza Spiegel and Phillippe Bouveret
In 2012, in conjunction with a site visit in Melun, the idea to create a joint, cross-border artistic project came into being. After a call for proposals went out to artists in both cities, one artist from each city was selected to participate:
- Géza Spiegel, sculptor and graphic designer from Stuttgart-Vaihingen
- Phillippe Bouveret, an internationally known artist from Melun
Each of these artists were commissioned to create two identical works of art. One of each piece of art would be installed in each of the partner cities.
Géza Spiegel focused his work on two upright plates of formed, rusted weathering steel, which has the initials of the names of the sister cities cut into them. Thus, the cut-out letters M and V on the upper portion of the plates illustrate an unbreakable unity between the cities. The names Melun and Vaihingen are diagonally engraved next to the letters.
Made from rusted steel, the two free-moving, open-ended rings feature metal outlines of France and Germany, the partner countries. What's remarkable about this piece is the inner-workings of the rings. They house containers filled with alcohol, which depending on the outdoor temperature, cause the shaped pieces to move toward and away from another, and sometimes covering one another – just as the the French artist, Phillippe Bouveret intended them to fluctuate.
This cross-border art collaboration was jointly unveiled by Madame Collete Mélot, Senator of Seine-et-Marne, and Wolfgang Meinhardt, Vaihingen District Manager in the Vaihingen City Park on 20. September 2013.
Both sculptures are located at the southern end of the Vaihingen City Park.
This exceptional art project was only possible through the financial support of the Otto F. Scharr Foundation, Ursula Ida Lapp, the City Council of Vaihingen, the Garden and Cemetery Bureau of the City of Stuttgart, and numerous working artists and members of the professional club, Kultur am Kelterberg Vaihingen, e.V., who donated original artwork.
In the Vaihingen City Park (south end)