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Getting the sculpture painted
Daily accounts of the project’s progress from Monday, September 12th to Friday, September 16nd, 2005. On Monday, September 12th, the painter paints the sculpture with a red stripe . On Tuesday, September 13th, the painter sands the red to prepare the surface for the other colors to be painted. Wednesday, September 14th, the painter [...] ...more

Project Overview

A 2.5 minute video of the project on exhibit in Berlin is posted on YouTube, you can see it here.

Eins Werden is a multi-media sculpture created through the fusion of the automotive products of former East and West Germany that depicts post-World War II German history and re-unification. The German automotive industry is an important and decisive influence on the development of the entire German economy. One in seven jobs depends on the automobile and almost 60% of the cars produced in Germany are made for export. When Germany was divided, each former country was a leading automobile manufacturer for their respective export markets. For these reasons the front half of a West German 1990 Mercedes Benz 190 is fused to the rear half of a 1990 East German Trabant 601. The front part of the Mercedes 190 is fused where the front set of driver and passenger doors end. Rear to the doors of the Trabant body is fused the front clip of the Mercedes. Once the two different automobile units are joined together, the German flag is professionally spray painted with automotive paints. The stripes running the length of the piece divides the sculpture into equal thirds of the flag: a black stripe on the driver side, a red stripe through the center, and a gold stripe on the passenger side. The resulting object created from this union no longer functions as a car. All interior elements and the drive train from the unified piece are removed. The interior space now serves as a media center that takes viewers on a journey through time. Projected on the glass of the resulting structure are stock film footage and personal home movies from different periods of post-World War II Germany. The total effect of these films enables the viewer to see past events and better understand the present situation.

The people and location involved in the creation of this sculpture are integral to the total concept of the project. The work must be made in Germany. Ideally, people from former East and West Germany representing the cultural diversity that exists in Germany today are involved in the realization of this piece. The sculpture is made in Berlin, a city that was divided by the political tensions from 1945 to 1990. Although the work could be made in the United States and then exhibited, this only realizes one segment of the concept. The project is about more than creating an interesting object with a video element. This project is about a people, a culture, and a nation. This project is about the German people and would not have the same relevance if they were not involved in its creation.

Der in Miami lebende Kunstler Steven D. Gagnon verfolgt seit dem Jahr 2000 eine ehrgeizige Idee: „EINS WERDEN“, ein multimediales Kunstobjekt zur Deutschen Einheit. Im Juni dieses Jahres hat Gagnon unter Mithilfe einer Berliner Karosseriewerkstatt die Fronthlfte eines 1990er Mercedes Benz 190 und das Heck eines 1990er Trabant 601 S zusammengefgt. Das neu entstandene Vehikel schickt den Betrachter mittels einer Video-Installation auf eine Reise durch die deutsch-deutsche Vergangenheit von 1945 bis ins Hier und Jetzt. Sechs digitale Videoprojektoren projizieren vom Innern heraus in die sechs Karosseriefenster eine eindrckliche Dokumentation, die sowohl historisches Filmmaterial als auch Privatvideos aus dem geteilten und vereinten Deutschland enthlt.

Press for Eins Werden

European Institute of Cultural Routes: Memory – The Website of the Day/Eins Werden Le 15e anniversaire de l’unite allemande

Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger: Einsheitsfest in Potsdam

German Embassy Rome: Official 15 anniversary of German Re-unification in Potsdam
„A Potsdam le celebrazioni ufficiali per il 15 anniversario della riunificazione tedesca.“ Ambasciata di Germania Roma. 27 September 2005. Online 1 July 2008.