Schulptor: Stephan Balkenhol, Berlin, Germany (Photo: Alicja Molenda, 28.03.2016)
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Axel Springer Verlag, the Bild Zeitung asked the sculptor Stephan Balkenhol to make a sculpture in memory of Axel Springer and his longstanding hope for German reunification. It is placed directly in front of the Axel Springer Haus, only a few meters from where the wall used to stand.
The Sculpture consists of many components: a 3,5 meter tall painted bronze figure of a man balancing on top of a representation of the Berlin wall, and, scattered behind this, eleven large pieces of the original wall. According to the sculptor, “the man is no longer a prisoner or a critic of the wall; he is standing on it that means he is above it. He has to deal with this new situation and has to keep on walking. As a memory how many people failed on the Berlin wall, a loud gesture of triumph would not have been appropriate. My balancing man stands for a cautious way of optimism, openness to the future, but also for the feeling that freedom brings along responsibility to make something out of it.”
Balanceakt (Balancing Act) 2009
Bronze figure 3,50 m high, concrete dam 2,20 m high
(source: Berlinische Galerie, Museum of Modern Art)