go back

The Karl Marx Residence

View of the presentation at the Bonnefanten museum, Maastricht.

styrofoam, wood, plywood, plastic,plexiglass, copper foil, acrylic. Scale 1:6.

For the forecourt of the Bonnefanten museum, we designed an artists residence in the well-known shape of the head of Karl Marx. The head of Karl Marx in the design is definitely not a monument to Marx, but rather a symbol of an outdated, discarded view of the world. One of the dominant ideas about the development of society in the last century was the idea of Communism, developed by Karl Marx and formulated in the Communist Manifesto. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Communist ideology has turned into fiasco. I t is time for new ideas.

Our design offers artists an opportunity to work on the future, while being literally inside the head of Karl Marx, a symbol of the past. This will take place as part of an artist-in-residence program that links up with the Bonnefanten's intended role as an artists' museum: giving a space to create and present new work.

The choice of the likeness of Karl Marx may prompt discussion. And that is a good thing. The questions about it will also go through the minds of passer-by. The head of Karl Marx is an iconic image, a very recognizable symbol of a body of ideas that has failed in practice. The thoughts that originated inside this head have led to many dramas in the twentieth century. But to what extent can that be attributed to the ideas or the head containing them? A quarter of a century has passed since the fall of Communism, but we are no longer so certain of things as then. What is still good, bad, left or right? Which ideologies now oppose one another, and are we allowed to think and say everything?

The Karl Marx residence