Standing among the houses are two precarious-looking concrete towers along with a third, “Dashed Hope,” which has collapsed and symbolizes Mr. Kiefer’s belief that everything is continually changing.
“What interests me is the transformation, not the monument,” he explained. “I don’t construct ruins, but I feel ruins are moments when things show themselves. A ruin is not a catastrophe. It is the moment when things can start again.”
It is through this very process that Mr. Kiefer seemingly finds relief from the pessimism and melancholy that permeate much of his art.
“What you see is despair,” he said. “ I am completely desperate because I cannot explain why I am here. It’s more than mourning, it’s despair.”
He paused, then added, “But to survive, you build, you create illusions.”