4, 2023, marked the 20th anniversary of the installation, DIE SIGNALE,
located at the Monastery Ruins in Rüeggisberg, Switzerland, on the
outskirts of Bern at the junction of three valleys where one can
witness spectacular views over Lake Thun to the majestic Eiger, Mönch,
and Jungfrau mountains of the Swiss Alps. DIE SIGNALE’s message of
PEACE, today, more than ever, is of paramount importance.
DIE SIGNALE, a site specific installation creating a visual paradox and
a word game based on the ever important concept of PEACE was
commissioned by cultural provocateur Rudolf Müller.
Rudolf and I first met in Puerto Vallarta in the 80s and it was in the
90s when he introduced me to the now defunct Galerie Rahn, located then
at the beautiful Haus Zum Paradies, on Kirchgasse, in Zurich.
moving to the Bern area, Müller began formulating a plan to create
cultural projects at the Monastery Ruins in Rueggisberg, near his new
home. He invited me to present a proposal for this very special space
and I offered to him the site specific project DIE SIGNALE.
coordinated logistics and permissions with the church, the town, the
state of Bern, a street sign factory, and an auto paint shop.
On August 4, 2003, we finished the installation of the DIE SIGNALE at the Monastery Ruins.
7 galvanized metal, wire mesh signs that constitute the installation
DIE SIGNALE are loosely based on Swiss street-sign designs. The signs
bring the message of PEACE in seven languages (PEACE, PAX, PAIX, FRED,
PACE, PAZ, FRIEDEN) to those that pass by on the street, for visitors
to the Monastery Ruins, and for those stopping by as part of their
pilgrimage on Jacob’s Way.
idea came from the actual
street wrapping around the Monastery Ruin site, an important visual
element. Aligned along the street as street signs are, the Signs of DIE
SIGNALE share their message of PEACE by means of a visual paradox and
word game using the see-through, metal screens as a support. On one
side of each sign is the word PEACE, and on the reverse of each is the
repeated word WAR…WAR in English, but also WAR in German…
WAR – WAS
Through the work of Rudolf Müller at ZimmerAxx Kunst ART PROjects, visitors to the exhibition at the KlosterSkulpturenAusstellung at the Monastery Ruins in Rüeggisberg, Switzerland, have had the opportunity to appreciate works by artists: Lotti
Meschter, Móncia Escutia, Barbara Bösch, Andreas Wiesmann, and myself.
—Davis Birks, 2023