Auf der Hut

Martina Salzberg


öffentlich zugänglich

Haus für Kinder Murnauer Straße 100, 81379 München

Baustahl, verzinkt, lackiert

Architecture: Peck Daam Architekten München

Photos: Florian Holzherr

Text: Matthias Supé

Auf der Hut

Hanging there on a pole, gigantic and red, the hat is hard to miss. That was precisely Martina Salzberg’s plan — to create a vertical kind of signet, as impressive as it is memorable, which can be seen even by those in the stream of traffic roaring past it on the adjacent Middle Ring. The piece is called “Auf der Hu”t (a term derived from the word hüten, meaning “to tend to,” although the word Hut also means “hat”), and it is just as multilayered and ambiguous as its title. Even though the slouch hat is hyper-realistic, it is not simply a decorative piece. On the contrary — it literally illustrates the facility’s conceptual superstructure by symbolically adding a visible roof to the flat building, thus referring to its actual task: to give children a sense of security, to “shelter” them in the best sense of the word. The fact that the massive piece, made of 350 kilograms of steel, does not appear monstrous, but light, somewhat like fabric, and that its realistic design may recall a cowboy or even a shepherd’s hat (!), has to do with Martina Salzberg’s skilled treatment of fabrics and everything having to do with them. While she normally uses needle and thread, in this case she employed a welding torch, deliberately leaving the welds as a self-reference. The effect the sculptor achieves is the same as in many of her other works — namely, to take the points of reference between shells or surfaces and turn them into a theme for discussion. Just as a “real” hat characterizes the person who wears it, the seven-meter-tall steel hat in this case illustrates the character of the building as a shelter that provides warmth and security.

Auf der Hut