Side by side Side by side
Side by side
© Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv
Photo: Eberhard Haase


4. August 2007 – 23. September 2007

Recent works by Madeleine Dietz

From August 4 to September 9, 2007, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture in Kassel is showing the project "side by side" by Landau artist Madeleine Dietz. "Side by side" is a project in which the artist attempts to find a cemetery or holy site in every country of the world, from which she is given a handful of earth. For example, earth from places where people of different faiths such as Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists or Hindus are buried or burned. Since the beginning of the project in 2003, she has asked visitors, clergy and cemetery staff in the respective countries to collect earth.

After their arrival in Germany, these cemetery soils from all over the world were placed in small, similar looking wooden boxes and are now exhibited in the Museum for Sepulchral Culture. On Sunday, September 9, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. the soil from the boxes will be mixed together in a planting field in front of the Museum for Sepulchral Culture. What remains is a small area of earth which will be planted and well-tended.

"In side by side I am concerned with memories and thoughts of beloved deceased people, but also with a feeling of finiteness in connection with the fate of all people of any nationality and faith", the artist says. However, the project also has a referential, metaphorical character: the unification of cultures and beliefs, a coexistence of world cultures in a planting field from which something new grows.

This is already illustrated by the explanation of the term from the Grimm dictionary of 1862, which says: "the earth is the ground on which people live, which they tread, into which they are last received, where the thought of a mother and the maternal womb closes again".

Further artistic works of the artist are also integrated into the exhibition project: sculptures and installations in which she forms earth and steel or earth and light with and without light pictures into an exciting entity. The organic material EARTH has been elementary for Dietz since 20 years – earth as a symbol of becoming and passing away, earth as a form of time memory, life energy and the core of new life. In combination with steel, a metal with cool-artificial angular properties, in which the earth is integrated, held and preserved, a metaphorical meaning is created through the contrast of two materials, which seem to be positioned between cool neutrality and emotional commitment.


facebook youtube instagram

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz