Salve (Wipe Your Feet)

Vaseline on Cardboard

40cm x 50cm

2012

During the first week of a residency in Weimar, Germany, I became incredibly apprehensive as to what kind of work I would make. I had researched into the local town and history and felt an enormous sense of cultural intimidation, it felt as if all things were possible and yet in a way, these possibilities had already been fulfilled. A difficult place for an artist. It was then I noticed that most entrances to public buildings contained a doormat with the words ‘Salve’ written on them in a very specific font. The word ‘Salve’ was an old Romany greeting as preferred by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. In 1999 Weimar was selected as the European City for Culture. The advertising for the even took the form of seventeen tied cardboard boxes with the names of important Weimar figures inscribed on the front.
The accompanying literature described these boxes as metaphors for cultural preservation and deliverance, a literal wrapping up and ‘sharing’ of Weimar culture. I wanted to make a box that had collapsed as my own little way of getting back at all these cultural signifiers. At the same time I was also making something welcoming for my studio that I would have to cross-over for the remaining months as a way of placating the anxiety for producing new work in the city of Weimar.

Vaseline on Cardboard

Vaseline on Cardboard

Promotional image from City of Culture

Promotional image from City of Culture
Weimar | 1999