Rasender Stillstand · 2000

glass · metal · plastic · 400 x 250 x 120 cm

The bus stop modified by Mariana Vassileva was originally a part
of her exhibition “Rasender Stillstand” (static motion). At that
time the bus stop was senselessly placed in a former schoolyard on
Berlin’s AuguststraЯe, causing confusion. This is the effect that the
artist hopes for: using something very familiar and perceiving its
features and qualities as if we were seeing it for the first time. For
a long time now, we have been trying to settle down in big cities
but we still remain on the road. Perhaps we are still gipsies in spite
of our dependence on permanent residences. We never feel truly
secure. We try to run away; to flee from ourselves. If something
forces us to stop, perhaps to wait for something, we immediately
search for things to provide us the comfort we lose through our
restlessness. With her work the artist underlines her interest
in contemporary problems, such as the feeling of remaining a
stranger even in intimate situations. She is concerned with our
longing for a home environment, exploring our forced mobility
as well as the pathological restlessness of our time. Her work is
occupied with the possibility of discovering a sense of peace and
safety even while we are abroad or travelling, whilst also exploring
the opposite effect of feeling lost in the most common and familiar
situations. The placement of the bus stop denies every association
with movement: it is certain no bus will ever stop here. The bus
stop has been slightly but significantly manipulated. The seats
resemble a bed, implying regained silence, and a letter box creates
an atmosphere of privacy and confidence. With such little changes
a concrete moment – the “now” – is almost within reach.
An isle of peace, completely still, amongst the madness of speed
we experience in our present. Those two little changes are
enough to slow down an object usually understood as a symbol
of mobility. In this variation the bus stop (already regarded as
a classical work in Berlin Wall AG’s programme) is perfected.
By subtle modifications a common object becomes an artwork
enriched with various associations. The simplicity almost painfully
contrasts with our usual lack of moderation. Being sheer and pure
is what makes this work of art so beautiful.

Ralf Bartholomäus