This article is our way of wishing you all and our planet Earth all the best for this New Year and decade.
A large Communist-era wall mosaic comprising 70,000 glass fragments has returned to a square in the city of Erfurt after years in storage.
Josep Renau’s mosaic reinstallation is a hope for us all – it really is.
Salvaged first, stored and now out again and looking as stunning as before
This is what happened to Josep Renau’s Man’s Relationship to Nature and Technology (1980-84) mosaic piece.
Doesn’t that sound familiar? I’ll give you a clue – planet Earth.
We are between the ‘salvaged first’ and ‘stored’ phases right now –
‘salvaged‘ : for the past 50 years or so, we have been abusing our environment with things such as fossil fuels or the rise of plastic use in pretty much everything.
‘stored‘ : many of us have recently realised how bad the state of our planet is and have been coming up with loads of innovative ideas which for most are either at an early phase or not available on a global scale.
“now out again and looking as stunning as before” : Josep Renau’s artwork depicts a pair of giant hands with open palms. The palm on the left cups an apple and a multi-coloured polyhedron nestles in the hand on the right. To the left of the apple are symbols of nature, and the right-hand side features geometric designs and a pair of compasses.
The work pays homage to an ideal society in which nature nurtures human achievement and the two can co-exist harmoniously.
The meaning behind this artwork (from the 80s) could not be more relevant today and we want to see that as a message of hope.
Josep Renau’s Man’s Relationship to Nature and Technology hopefully announces the rise and epiphany of technology – Renewable energies, AI etc, towards solving the biggest crisis we have ever faced.
About the artwork
The mosaic was salvaged from a culture and leisure centre on Erfurt’s Moskauer Platz (Moscow Square) before the building was demolished. The dimensions are seven metres tall and 30 metres wide.
First seen on Art Newspaper