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Walking history. Meet Hermann

In brief

The project aims to disseminate in an agreeable, effective and environmentally stimulating manner some data and information about the most significant domains and periods of the history of the civilization and culture of the town of Sibiu, with an emphasis on the history of the community of Saxons.
10 road statues installations are to be made, representing the same character: Hermann, the mythical founder of the town of Sibiu (Hermannstadt), seen in different historical moments, identifiable by attributes, costume, attitude, and features. The historical moments described are to be related with the proposed emplacement and are to be accompanied each by a plate inscribed in three languages (Romanian, English and German) which should offer “facts and figures” type of information about the chosen subject.

The environmental art installations are to be integrated in the urban space, stimulating the dialogue between the evergreen-transitory, old-new, tradition-innovation coordinates. By the public impact of the sculptures, they are to invite to social cohesion, to a deeper acknowledgement of the history of the town, both by the members of the community (especially children, youth), as well as by the tourists and participants to the programme Sibiu - European Cultural Capital in 2007. Last, but not least, these installations are to colour and warm up the urban space, granting good disposition, rhythm, implication in walking through and observing the places.

The project is to be made public and promoted by modern technologies, especially in information points/PR (info-stalls), through the mass-media. The possibility of using the image of the town’s mascot also for educational, commercial purposes etc. is to be offered, and for tourists a guided route of the Hermanns through town is to be organized, as being one of the ways of seeing and getting to know the historical town of Sibiu.

The estimated value of the project amounts up to 65,000 euros and includes the conception and making of the road statues, the promotional and informational products (Internet site, CD-ROM, coloured booklets), as well as the intendancy costs of the project. The Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs finances this project with approximately 38,885 euros, starting with 2006.
In detail

We start from the following assumptions:

  • Sibiu represents a multicultural, complex, typically central European space, whose historical, urbanistic and civic fundaments are owed to the German ethnic element; the clarifying of the facts and elements of civilization is difficult and needs study and an intellectual background.
  • the information and acknowledgement are done at a mass scale and especially via the internet, the multimedia, that is through a suggestively structured and accessible assembly of images and data; it is the modality favoured by the youth, by adults involved professionally, by tourists and occasional visitors.
  • the urban space must be furnished with attractive tri-dimensional spatial elements, meaning bearers, provocative, which should stimulate social cohesion, re-winning the taste for the environment and the open space, for contemplating the image of the public space, for cardinal points.
  • the history of the civilization and culture can be properly conveyed by the “facts and figures” type of information or fact-sheets, namely texts in which the quantity information prevails, structured in categories/ comparables portions.
  • the mascot represents in modernity and post-modernity a guiding mark, symbol bearer, with effects of commercial and cultural consumption, which (re)presents a community, a group, constituted socially and culturally, in front of the tourists, visitors, foreigners.

10 (ten) road statues, life-sized are intended to be made (a slight dimensional enlargement, compared to the 1:1 scale) which represent the same character: Hermann, the mythical founder of Sibiu (Hermannstadt), seen in 10 different historical moments, identifiable by attributes, costume, attitude. The historical monuments described are to be related with the proposed emplacement.

Up to this date, the following subjects/moments have been outlined:

  •  Hermann mediaeval knight, the moment chronologically closest to the myth of the founding of the town, by the colonists from the Rhenish area (Germany), dressed in the specific and picturesque costume of the 13th or 14th centuries, placed in Piata Mare, in the vicinity of the spot marked in pavement of the former statue of Roland the Knight.
  • Hermann student from the time of the 16th-17th centuries is to describe the access to education of the population of Sibiu, in town and abroad, and is to be placed near the entrance of the Brukenthal College from Piata Huet.
  • Hermann banker, dressed in the official costume of the 16th century, representing the category of the patricians, who ruled politically and economically the town in the medieval and pre-modern periods, placed in Piaţa Mare, representative historical square of the town in front of Haller House, a Renaissance residence of a family of bankers from Sibiu.
  • Hermann mayor, dressed as a patrician from the 16th century, representing a mayor of the town, placed at the entrance of the courtyard of The Old Town Hall (Casa Altemberger, the present headquarters of The Museum of History)
  • Hermann brewer is to represent the flourishing background of the craftsmen/ of the organisation in guilds from the medieval period until the beginning of the 19th century; the character is to be placed in the area of Piaţa Mică in the vicinity of Podul Minciunilor (“The Bridge of Lies”), in the space between the bridge and Luxembourg house, resting against the parapet near the bridge, in the area of some coffee houses and pubs.
  • Hermann chief of the guild of butchers, placed in front of the side façade of Casa Artelor (“The House of Arts”), former Butchers’ Shop Hall, recently renovated, the character having a visual dialogue with a Hermann brewer, set up on this side of the Piaţa Mică.
  • Hermann military in the imperial army from the Maria Theresia or Joseph II’s period, a period of great flourishing of Sibiu, placed in the vicinity of the former casern (the park across Hotel Bulevard), close by the stairs leading to the Zwinger (Cetăţii Street).
  • Hermann “dandy” from the end of the 19th century, walking in a park/ public square, possibly Astra park, the entrance from Tribunei Street; the subject would relate to the rigging and leisure places of the population of Sibiu in the modern period.
  • a Hermann mediaeval menestrel, with his instrument (the flute), placed near the new building of the Sibiu philharmonic close by, representing the development of the show arts in Sibiu.
  • Hermann deported, dressed in ragged clothes, with an attitude of a defeated, humiliated, person, can represent on the perimeter of the Railway Station, the tragic episode of the deportation of the Saxons after 1945.

Reserved subjects for other possible Hermanns:

  • a good-humoured and hospitable Hermann can mark the entrance to an old, traditional inn, restored and revigorated for the tourists of the year 2007, if possible on the place of the historical inn “am Weisses Lamm” (”At The White Lamb”); the subject would present data about the rest places from Sibiu throughout the known history.
  • a Hermann standing at the window of the tower in Piaţa Mică, greeting the tourists and the local people (study emplacement, possibly temporary), possibly orloger (the guild of the orlogers)
  • a Hermann baker, standing in front of a well-visited bakery in the city
  • a Hermann goldsmith, near an important Jewellery Store.

The making of the sculptures falls under the responsibility of a monumentalist sculptor, the proposal of the foundation being Petru Alexandru Galai. This is to coordinate the work team and is to deal with all of the aspects, from the plastic conception to the materials supply, working hand, production, finishes and is to supervise the road set up of the statues.
Technically, the sculptures are to be made of layers of nestrapole with reinforcement of glass fibres and metal & wood interior skeleton. The technology implies the modelling in a regime of uniqueness of the pieces, for each being necessary the making of two ranges of negatives. The piece is chiselled and coloured with special paints, resistant to harsh weather conditions. The inscribed plates containing data about the subject are to be made from a special resin, resistant, which allows the incision of the characters with the pantograph – meaning accuracy, readability, resistance. The guarantee of the resistance of the work is to be of over 12 months. The necessary work time for production: between 4-6 months, function of season and the granting of the public financing (The Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs).

The sculptures are to have from casting a trestle of approximately 70x70 cm and are to have their own static stability. For preventing the overthrow in special weather conditions or mechanical action, the support boards are to be caught in the clothing of the urban flooring or by spanners which allow the adjustment of the horizontal and flatness qualities. Function of the conditions of the emplacement, the partings and the mortises of the spanners are to be injected with an adhesive resin.

All the component pieces are to be made in Bucharest and transported at Sibiu in optima conditions. The set up of the installations on the emplacements approved by the Town Hall is to be done by a local firm or with the department of communal intendancy of the Town Hall.

The documentation part in archives, libraries, and elaboration of the texts and informative materials is to be secured through a partnership with the Faculty of History and Patrimony of the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, coordinator being the PhD. Prof. Ioan Marian Ţiplic. The coordinator of the activity of documentation is to realize together with the sculptor and project responsible a group of proposals of the historical moments and emplacements in Sibiu, the proposals being advanced to the Town Hall of Sibiu with a view to approval.

This realization of urban art is to be associated with a programme of mediatisation/promotion, done by the team of managerial assistance formed within the Inforom Cultural Foundation. It is intended to print a format A5 folder with cardboard covers, tied with braids, including a leaflet for each of Hermann’s images. Every of the 10 leaflets are to contain the actual historical data and in chronological succession, a short text of appreciation of the importance of the social category representing for the urban civilization of Sibiu throughout history and is to be completed with documentary illustration, as well as with the image of the respective Hermann sculpture. A CD is to be edited, including moments caught from the set-up period, surprising the public impact of the Hermann characters, interviews on the street, comments of the specialists etc. the materials are to be edited in the three foreign languages mentioned above.

The dissemination of the materials is to be done by tourist information points and of public relations, which are to be organized in town. A part of the draught is to be offered for free at the organizers’ disposal, function of the contribution of the public funds at this chapter. Should the project titular attract other funds for supplementing the draught, these materials are to be bought from specific places for promotion: station, airport, tourism agencies, bookstores, information stalls etc.

According to the legislation regarding the author right, The Inforom Cultural Foundation is to administer this right in the name of the titular people and is to surrender the right of reproduction to those interested and to print the illustrated, promotional materials, books, albums etc. with reproductions of the images of the Hermann’s road statues installations.

The entire project is to be mediatised online by the internet page of the foundation www.inforom-cultural.org. There is the intention of the project organizer to make up an audio-visual material, type “making-of” and “use-of”, surprising the most important stages of the making and set-up of the sculptures in the public space, as well as the activities, happenings, the reactions of the audience or visitors towards this type of urban art. Any adaptation of images and online broadcasting or through the audio-visual media, which overlap the legal definition of “quotations” and information of the public, is to be done only after consulting with the promoter of the project.

The technical assistance is to be secured by a team of experts made up of the project coordinator, PR promotion specialist, web designer and graphic artist.

From the moment of the set up of the environmental installations in Sibiu, the objects are to belong to the community. A protocol is to be signed up with the Town Hall of Sibiu with a view to cede the “administration” of the pieces, with clauses meant to ensure the integrity, visibility and keep in the established emplacement for each of the Hermann’s statues throughout the year 2007. The organization of a potential auction with charitable purposes (the case of the little cows in Bucharest), the keeping of the installations after 2007 in the initial emplacement or in a chosen emplacement type green space, fun park, or the changing of their destination are to be actions that fall in the responsibility of the authorities from Sibiu. Any exploitation of the images of the installations in a commercial purpose is to be done observing the right of author held by the artist and the promoter.

Duration and stages

The total operational duration of the project: 12 months. The period of mandatory display, with possible dislocations and re-emplacements, function of necessities: the year 2007.

  • the preparation and documentation: 1.09 – 31.12.2006
  • the set up of the road statues: 1.10.2006 - 15.02.2007
  • transport and emplacement: Dec. 2006 for a number of approximately 4-6 sculptures (the optimist version), 1.03.2007 (the working version)
  • promotion and marketing: 1.01.2007 – 15.09.2007.

The value of the project and financiers

The total budget of the project is estimated at the sum of 65,000 euros. The main financier is the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs. The contribution of the promoter is from their own sources and sponsorships. For future developments of actions of promotion/communitarian interaction, sums of money are to be engaged from the exploitation of rights and sponsorships.

The objectives of the project

The purpose of the project is the acknowledgement of the past of the town of Sibiu for the members of the community, the visitors of the European cultural capital and tourists, in the generous context of the programme Sibiu – European Cultural Capital in 2007.

The specific objectives are:

  1. TOURISTIC: The promotion of the Hermann mascot, character linked etymologically and legendary with the foundation of the medieval town, including the generation of the commercial forms of image exploitation in the use of the community.
  2. EDUCATIONAL: The illustration in friendly and accessible ways to the wide public, local and from abroad, of some moments or significant facts from the cultural, economical, political history etc. of the town of Sibiu and the making of some directions of interaction with the public.
  3. URBAN: The adornment of the urban public space with figurative sculptural installations (the Hermann mascot) and the integration in the old-modern, tradition-innovation dialogue, characteristic of the town of Sibiu in its state as a European capital of the 21st century.

Marketing and management characteristics of the project

The generation of other initiatives, actions, projects which are to involve the image of the installations, the content and proposed objectives are to be intensely supported by the promoter. The educational projects, with a tourist impact, of active recreation etc are to be stimulated. The visual impact and of created significance are to count immensely; this is to be measured/evaluated by specific forms (for e.g. questionnaires) by the team of technical assistance of the project.

The following types of associations are to be created: co-productions with specialised firms and/or partnerships with the authorities, the public institutions, but especially with NGOs and informal groups, so as to exploit the public image of the Hermann motif:

  • road happenings of animated statues type that should act as a replica to the sculptures – with artistic or youth associations
  • road contests for children (drawings on pavement or on panels, of historical, civic knowledge) with the themes given by the road sculptures – with schools or local school clubs
  • the ceding of the rights in the conditions provided by law for the use in the commercial regime of the town mascot (Hermann) by the production of post cards or posters, lay-outs at a small scale, souvenir type
  • co-production at the making of some multimedia and audiovisual products
  • the making of some Hermann’s statues, sole pieces, whose historical moment should serve for the attraction of the customers, tourists and to supporting the brand and the image, at the request of some companies interested (manufacture, restaurants, hotels etc.)
  • the possibility of mobility of some mascots in other places than where they were initially placed, so as to arrange cultural spaces with the occasion of some events
  • the organization of an auction for selling the statues, in the use of some social or charitable projects of the community.

The project has an innovatory character in the landscape of the environmental and forum art from Romania:

  • sculpture/ road installation with a topic outside the tradition of the forum monumental
  • the capacity of presenting the history of the town in significant monuments, in an agreeable, accessible manner and which gives character to the urban space
  • the arrangement of the public space with a type of artistic “installation”, with cultural valences, expressivity, capacity of attracting and challenging
  • contribution to the making of a collective feeling of the place.
    Serving for attracting customers, clients, tourists and supporting the brand and the image
  • the possibility of the mobility of some mascots in other places than where they were initially placed, so as to adorn the cultural spaces with the occasion of some events
  • the organization of an auction for the selling of the statues, in the use of some social and charitable projects of the community.

The project has an innovatory character in the landscape of the environmental and forum art from Romania:

  • sculpture/road installation with a topic outside the tradition of the forum monumental
  • the capacity of presenting the history of the town in significant moments in an agreeable, accessible manner and which gives character to the urban space
  • the decoration of the public space with a type of artistic installation, with cultural valences, expressivity, capacity of attracting and challenging.

The project intends to aim the recognition of a European dimension:

  • the tradition of the “mascot” of an establishment (see the painted bear in Berlin)        
  • the experience of the urban sculptural installations from several European towns (Amsterdam) with a figurative or abstract topic
  • the temporary road installation, used in the programme European Cultural Capital (Graz, Austria – project “The Tower and its shadow”, done for the European Cultural Capital in 2003).

We thank you for your interest and we expect you at “Hermanns”, in   the wonderful Sibiu, the Cultural Capital of Romania and Europe in 2007!