Sunday 17th April 2016, 2:30pm
Getaway #15: Esther Kempf
Esther Kempf chose this Sunday’s getaway destination.*)
– Is there a word like craftswoman? If so, Esther is one. A very good one, both in an artistic and a crafty sense. Also on a conceptual and a practical level. Maybe her approach to life and art is the proof that if you have an affinity to materials you start thinking differently. Like connecting your senses differently. It’s mechanisms that she might be specialist in. Mechanisms of perceiving, observing, crafting, and of arranging effects to causes.
If she could choose, she once told me, she would prefer to make surprise gifts for her friends instead of making art works. I saw her do a precise backflip into the Zurich Lake. This was part of her artistic practice. –
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Esther Kempf for the fifteenth Outside Sunday.
There is a invisible map you can follow in every city: the water supply map. The Zurich water supply map has different layers: There’s water from the lake and from the ground and from sources and they all follow different paths. Some erupt in public fountains, some are for the tap. We tried to taste the difference, it’s really hard to tell.
While we were doing this it was raining really hard. Non-stop. The additional water emphasized the topic: three artificial water supply systems – more or less horizontally – were contrasted by an additional fourth and vertical one. Feeling the rain makes you realise that there’s another whole system of tubes that takes water in. When gazing at the Grundwasseraufbereitungsanlage on the opposite riverside of the Limmat we were already soaked. Someone knew that they had exchanged the technique to measure the water quality recently: The fish were replaced by Wasserflöhe. Wasserflöhe are way more sensitive and in general very immobile. When some of them start moving you should check. When all of them are moving something is really wrong. For this case you have the Notwassersystem**). Which in any case supplies more than 80 public fountains throughout the city of Zurich, the bronze cylinders.
Moving up the hill we inspected several water reservoirs, and the Tessinerkeller, a typical Ticino restaurant with typical german waiters and a ravishing cake exhibition , before we finally reached the construction area of a new water reservoir. The construction fence was left open, inviting us in: Impressive concrete moulds and huge tubes were waiting to be buried underground. Of the reservoir only the foundation was done. Once the reservoir building is built it looks like a cathedral or a temple, with an incredible number of columns and a very special lighting.
An invisible interior. Built not to be entered.
It would be great to do an exhibition there once: entering with bathing suit only.
**) Die Stadt Zürich sagt dazu:
Die Bronze-Notwasserbrunnen gingen im Jahre 1973 aus einem Wettbewerb hervor. Damals wurde aus über 100 Modellen von 51 Teilnehmenden der Entwurf von Alf Aebersold zur Weiterbearbeitung ausgewählt. Seit 1976 wurden über achtzig dieser Trinkbrunnen aufgestellt. Die Versorgung der Brunnen mit separatem Quellwassernetz funktioniert mit natürlichem Gefälle.