In the Leberberg city park, the artist Jan Hoeft is setting up a sculpture that deals with the wishes of children and young people. On top of a tower there is a cuboid with the face of a teenager on each of its four sides. Each side represents a different emotional state. One face shows sadness, one anger, one joy and one face is neutral. An LED ticker runs over each eye, anonymizing the face like a censor bar. On each display eyes are shown at regular intervals. Whenever the pair of eyes closes, a new statement appears.
The slogans that appear on the Tower of Affirmation were developed by the artist together with the children and young people of the Leberberg Youth Centre in a workshop. Jan Hoeft asked the children what would be the best thing to say to them. "What would you be happy to have someone tell you? What would you like to hear from your parents? You are great! You are super! You are ... !". Every honest wish is allowed. Sayings appear in the mother tongues of the children.
The godlike sculpture compliments the people in the park. Or does the figure say the sentences to itself? The sentences resonate differently with the four emotional states of the sculpture. A "You are strong!" fits the angry side well. But discrepancies also arise, for example when the text "You are beautiful!" appears in front of the crying face.
The messages will accompany the residents for over a year. If someone has a good day, the tower speaks to him or her, as well as he or she has a bad day. Sometimes the messages seem sarcastic, but in other moments they are honest and uplifting.
Siedlungstreff Leberberg, Svetelskystraße 6A, 1110 Wien
Jan Hoeft *1981 in Blankenburg im Harz, living and working in Cologne