Where is Europe? Is there a place in our imagination that bears this name? Is there a hidden place in our hearts? Europe is still a utopia, even though utopias are no longer what they once were. The faith in the great pure promise of the future did not survive the 20th century. Can Europe speak with the 500 million voices of those who inhabit this continent?
The Square of the European Promise is an invitation to the citizens of Europe to make a promise. The promises are not published. In their place, the names of those who from 2004 to 2015 participated have been inscribed in the stone floor on the Square of the European Promise in Bochum. They are the authors of the new square.
The starting point of the artistic concept is a church (Christuskirche), located in the city centre next to the new square (3,000 sqm) with a mosaic dating back to 1931 featuring a surprising list of the 28 “enemy states of Germany“. Jochen Gerz contrasts the names of the enemies, and a second list with the fallen citizens in World War I, with a third one: the names of the living.
Each name stands for a promise. 14,726 people from all over Europe have become with their invisible promise part of the artwork. 63 basalt panels (180 x 360 cm) cover the square with their names. The Square of the European Promise was inaugurated on 11 December 2015.
>> 49th City Talks: TheSquare of the European Promise
A speech by Jochen Gerz in Bochum Museum of Art, January 17, 2007