Works

Hahn/Cock, 2013

Height 4.72 m, glass-fiber-reinforced plastic, stainless steel

The artist won the competition for the “Fourth Plinth” on Trafalgar Square in London with this sculpture of an oversized, ultramarine-blue rooster, with whose realization the Kunstgiesserei was commissioned in the summer of 2012.

In this project, the development work presented a huge challenge since numerous very demanding requirements had to be incorporated: apart from the artist’s desire to be able to give the final touches to a self-supporting model in an original size of 4.72 m, it also had to remain possible to remove individual parts of the model in order to be able to repeatedly mold them. The molded negative, in turn, had to be suitable for production in parts made of polyester resin laminate, which were finally supposed to be put together on a stainless steel skeleton in order to create a stable end product with a precise form and dimensions. For transport on the street, the sculpture had to be disassembled again into multiple pieces. The seams on the rooster were later supposed to nearly invisible.

The artist created a small original model in numerous digital and analogue processing steps. This model was scanned, scaled up, and modeled on the computer. With this data as the basis, it was possible to produce the plumage with the intricacies desired in the so-called stereolithography technique. To support the ca. 3-mm-thick surface, the Kunstgiesserei milled the tailor-made supporting parts of expanded polystyrene. A 1:1 preliminary model was thus created as an intermediate stage. Its surface of epoxy resin was, however, not suitable for an object to be installed outdoors for a longer period of time. The material chosen for the final artwork was thus a very high-quality glass fiber reinforced polyester laminate, which offered the optimal characteristics with regard to stability as well as suitability for reproducing the surface with precise details.

In cooperation with the artist, the modeling of the surface was completed after numerous manual sanding steps on the 1:1 preliminary model, before this was molded in several negatives and laminated in synthetic material. For the lacquering of the original, samples of many coating variants were created and tested—with the aim of an extremely matte but at the same time durable surface.

The rooster was brought to London in seven individual parts in a special transport frame, completed assembled there, retouched, and finally lifted veiled onto the stone plinth on Trafalgar Square. The unveiling took place on July 25, 2013, after a speech by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, before a big audience and with Katharina Fritsch and the entire Kunstgiesserei team in attendance.

For the production of the stereolithography parts, the Kunstgiesserei was supported by the company robotmech in Vorarlberg, which specializes in the technique. For the production of the individual glass fiber reinforced plastic components, the Kunstgiesserei collaborated with the plastic specialists of Fa. Horlacher in Möhlin.