BURKHARD SCHITTNY, Fineart
LEGACY PROJECTS 2020 / 120 x 80 x 60 cm / 47 x 31 x 23 in / jackhammer, tripod, compressed air hose
Floor standing, dimension variable
Infernal hammering, brutal rattling fills the room. A piston, driven by air supplied through a hose, transmits the force, hits the chisel. Usually used in road construction, in Burkhard Schittny's installation ARBEIT MACHT the jackhammer becomes an object that symbolizes an atmosphere of violence. Like a machine gun, the artist has mounted the hammer on a tripod in a horizontal position. This new orientation marks a change of meaning: work can mean violence. Can kill. And the exhibition visitor may become a perpetrator. May fire.
The whole device is a killing machine: ready to destroy anything and everything. This interpretation is also suggested by the title of the work, which refers to the cynical phrase "Arbeit macht frei". This was used as a gate inscription at the Nazi concentration and labor camps, where death by labour was willingly accepted. But ARBEIT MACHT also tells of the present. Combines the spheres of work, power, violence and death in a universal, contemporary way.