In Berlin, at the end of the Kieler Strasse, there is a watchtower of the former border area, which is now used as a memorial. This is where the Kieler Eck management office once stood. It is one of the only three preserved of the 302 watchtowers, which were used for German-German border security. Frank Balve draws a parallel to this urban element of the capital with his new work Anhöhe. It is an installation that presents the program of the MaxWeberSixFriedrich gallery at the “Positions” art fair in Berlin.
The word Anhöhe (hill) is according to the Duden “a moderately high elevation in the terrain”; a hill, something that occurs in nature. The title stems from a text that Balve wrote in 2012. The term Anhöhe in itself arouses very different associations than the massive construct – it measures 7 meters in height and width and 4 meters in depth – which stands before us at the fair: not only wrapped in the deep-black fabric and Nato-barbed wire at its crown. It develops a truly martial appearance. The artist correctly plays with the fears and inhibitions of the visitor: Is it really possible to approach and enter? The gloomy tones as well as the disturbing effect are typical characteristics of Balves works, described by Dr. Susanne Ott in her biography of the artist, which are clearly visible here.