Wir und ihr, du und ich (We and you, You and Me)
Rundgang 1998    
Dusseldorf Art Academy    
February 1998    
Düsseldorf, Germany    




This work about preconceived ideas surrounding "the German culture" and "the Colombian culture" is composed of a 16m long enclosed corridor, a variety of objects attached to the ceiling, inverted texts placed on the ceiling beams and a mirror fixed on top of two cardboard boxes of bananas inside a supermarket trolley.


While the visitor, passing one at a time, pushes the trolley along the corridor, texts, seen in the correct orientation, and objects about clichés and prejudices regarding the two cultures can be read on the mirrored surface. During the walk, one perceives the objects attached to the ceiling as if they were placed on the floor, due to a mirror placed at half height of the corridor. Looking at the objects and texts through the mirror causes an alteration in the senses and difficulties while walking. This sensation of discomfort along the walk resembles the discomfort of experiencing a different culture.


The work makes evident the difficulties to get to know the "other". A welcome text and a list of classificatory questions about the country of origin, duration and purpose of the stay reflect a division between cultures. Cultural segregation is revealed through a world map where the poles are inverted, a suitcase that displays the traveller's small world and select words in everyday German. A confrontation of clichés between both cultures is shown in two rows of open drawers at the end of the corridor, suggesting the German expression Schubladendenken, term referring to pigeonhole thinking.


At the end, when the visitor returns to the entrance, a farewell text suggests to break down the dividing wall and become acquainted with the "other" after having experienced the "other" culture through the mirror of one's "own" culture.





Wir und ihr, du und ich

Shopping cart, mirror, objects, texts

8 ft 2½ x 8 ft 2½ x 53 ft






Welcome: "We and you"
"Where are you from?"
"How long have you been in Germany?"
View of the drawers from below
View of the drawers through the mirror
"thinking of boxes"