The artist talking

  • Jan Moeyaert en Koen Vanmechelen

"ComingWorldRememberMe (CWRM) was an ode to a new future grounded in our remembrance of the horror and futility of the First World War. The temporary land art installation by artist Koen Vanmechelen symbolizes the rebirth of a hopeful desire for a new and more peaceful world.

CWRM wanted to give a voice to the dead and consists largely out of 600,000 clay sculptures. Personalized dog tags with the names of the dead bring them back to life. The statues are very much a communal work, having been made over a period of four years in various workshops by many different people of many different nationalities. Their statues depict a bent human form, which seems to be lost in contemplation. At the same time, the figure also seems to be bracing itself, as though preparing to face a challenge. The pronounced backbone underlines the power of the life force, the determination to carry on, the desire to build and not to destroy.

Making one of the statues was a process of healing and of growing awareness. A medication against the darkness of our time. It obligated the maker to take a deep plunge into the past. Giving a place to forgotten memories is one important way to build for a better future. In this way, ComingWorldRememberMe warns us of the dangers of war. A generation that grew up without war, might easily be tempted to think a little bit of war is not a bad thing. The 600,000 today tell us that war is never a solution.

Four years long people have been creating CWRM, for four years we have intensely remembered the dead. The future, the Coming World, is depicted in the installation by the giant egg that is on the point of hatching, as a precursor to the birth of a new mankind. A collective plunge in the past is the foundation for the Pangea of our new generations. For a world in spiritual connectedness, arisen out of a Big Bang. The egg as mass, the people as energy.

And as nature has gradually reclaimed this no-man's-land, so peace can eventually radicate war. But without ever forgetting."



Koen Vanmechelen