Zitat -
Kant on Water


FA 62


- Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre -

Curated by Elena Tsetaeva for

The National Center of Contemporary Art (NCCA), Kaliningrad Branch

Performance / Installation

Whit the assistance of Richard Hylerstedt (Installation) and Lotta Moberg (photo)

Kaliningrad, Russia, July 2005

Zitat - Kant on Water - The Background

In our first visit to Kaliningrad our host and friend Julia Bardoun, born and grown up in the city, told us that as a child - in Soviet times, when the city was close to visitors - in holidays she and her friends used to run to the beach to collect pieces of styrofoam (plastic-foam) from packages that the sea carried ashore from out there, from the forbidden other side. Those fascinating objects, carriers of a secret and incomprehensible code, where appreciated collection items and hard currency in the among the children’s exchange business

A couple of years later

While preparing our work for the opening of the NCCA’s new home, the Kronprinz building, they visit us in Stockholm and saw our work “Citat” and wished very much that we could do something similar with philosopher Emmanuel Kant in Kaliningrad.
Because the lack of time and resources it was unthinkable to do something permanent, but we could paint some quotations around the cathedral where he is buried. Everybody liked the idea as a temporal solution
But later on we found out that it was impossible to get the permit from the church


Thinking about Julia’s childhood memories we suggested then to invert the children action and to send instead to the other side a new message in the same material, plastic-foam, with a new code and meaning, a quotation of Kant. Placed on water in the river surrounding the little island where the cathedral and Kant’s tomb is situated. The quotation (in German and Russian) will flow with the river to the sea and away, away, to the other side.

The quotation, in German and Russian, was:


Gedanken ohne Inhalt sind leer, Anschauungen ohne Begriffe sind blind


Launching the quotation in Russian
Click these two pictures to enlarge >


Crossing the island and launching the German quotation
.. ..
.. ..



Sailing under the bridge

If the quotations did manage to do their way through bridges and ports, they will be now somewhere in the Baltic Sea.

Click to enlarge these two pictures
With the generous support of The Swedish Institute

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