Timeline, 1981
Concrete and iron
28 m x 2 m
Biegerhof Park
in Duisburg
The sculpture “Timeline” stands in Duisburg’s Biegerhof Park. It consists of parallel metal rails on the grass at the end of which are rows of concrete human heads. The gaps between the rails are filled with four-digit, cast-metal numbers. Almost against our will, we are tempted to search for meaning in the numbers. But do not succeed.

The majority of the “years” have nothing to do with the current or coming millennium. They are just simple rows of numbers in front of the identical heads arranged in rank and file. These heads have no faces; neither eyes nor ears. A silent, nameless gathering – of past? of present? of future people? In this way Gabriella Fekete, the artist who created the sculpture, seeks to depict a particular current problem, namely man as simply a number, and does so in a shocking way. The grey cast-concrete heads have been stripped of all individuality to such an extent that solely their allocated number is a distinguishing feature. This kindles involuntary associations. We think of Orwell’s visions of the future and at the same time also the now historical experience – the nightmare of the Nazi concentration camps. A final point is made by the contrast between the sculpture and its idea and the beautiful surroundings of the park.

The artistic forms of expression that Gabriella Fekete uses have a refined simplicity, which does not necessarily make the piece easier to understand. Yet they continue a particular stage of the creative quest of this sculptor from Budapest. This stage is characterized by highly personal creative statements in relation to man and the essence of his existence: infinite pessimism and infinite material for profound thoughts! The expressivity of the existentially significant content – always held in check by the simple form.

“Timeline” is not only an artistic reminder the Lehmbruck Fellow wanted to leave the citizens of Duisburg, but also an in many respects meaningful “memento”.

Anna Tyszecka