The Ypres Salient (B): 600.000 statues

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The art installation CWxRM – ComingWorldRememberMe – is a project of artist Koen Vanmechelen, and is presented to the public since March 2018 at De Palingbeek estate one of the most heavily fought over locations during the First World War, right at the heart of the so-called Ypres Salient. 600,000 sculptures for 600,000 names are at the heart of the project that wants to commemorate all the victims of the First World War in Belgium. By creating a symbolic statue for each and every one of them they are given a place in history, but even more so in our present and future.

Over the past four years, ten thousands of people all over Flanders and abroad joined on workshops to become godfather or godmother of the project and create one or more of the 600,000 clay sculptures called New Generation: a figure that is contemplating but shows at the same time a pronounced backbone. In the workshops, the backbone was created manually by each maker as a symbol of the strength of people and of a hopeful future. It is a sculpture that evokes silence, an image of a person showing frailty and at the same time strength. For each sculpture, a dog tag with the name of one of the 600,000 victims was created and connected with the name of one of the godfathers or godmothers. Once again the past and the present were linked.

See a video of the finished project.

600,000 names. One list.
The dead live on in the living.
A participatory land art installation to make us remember.
600,000 names depicted: the DNA of a community.
The history of the ‘Great War’:
frozen hope of stilled lives.
A search for answers to the big question which also wanders through the Westhoek: why war,
why this unbounded suffering?
Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

from: the artists vision

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