Lenin’s Revenge

1995, installation, Joachim Stein

Three entirely functional climbing walls, 20 mm plywood on a steelframe, each 120x240x25 cm form a triptych. The walls are equiped with standart climbing grips of different color and size.

installation, Göteborgs Konsthall

installation, Göteborgs Konsthall

“After the opening of eastern Europe and the German reunification, I heard that it had become popular amongst free climbers to climb the socialist monuments that, not long before, were protected by the socialist states and were perceived in much the same way in which sacred objects and pieces of art are generally perceived.

I felt sorry for the monuments’ aura being changed the way it was, by people climbing on them. I felt that climbing objects that were once considered holy and sacred, no matter by whom, was not right. I thought Lenin should have his revenge. You are welcome to look at my installation not as a piece of art, but as climbing walls.

I heard some of you talk about the different colors of the grips, trying to decipher a color code. I have recently taken up climbing myself. I assure you that all experience in consuming art and your formal training wont help you. To understand, you will need experience in climbing – experience using your body, not just your mind.

I heard some of my colleagues complain about the climbing walls dominating the space in this exhibition. We had some disputes, when we did the hanging earlier this week. I installed those walls to alter the perception of the space and everything it contains. It is intentional that the perception of your work is altered.” Joachim Stein at Göteborgs Konsthall, July 1995

After the exhibition, the climbing walls were sold to a kindergarten.