Michael Sailstorfer buried gold bars in a public place and then invited anyone to dig. His first project like this was in Pulheim, Germany in 2009. Situations commissioned a second installation at the Folkstone Triennial in 2014. My boys love to dig, and I can see us spending a few mornings there.
So when did digging become art? Sailstrofer’s work is about asking that kind of question. He describes one of the more interesting parts of finding the gold is the question it creates. “Do you take it to the pawnbrokers or do you take it to Sotheby’s?” (source) The artwork questions more than the value of sculpture. It also works to transform our perspective of these small pieces of land in public space. Pieces of land that parents, who keep a shovel and toy backhoe in their purse, are always ready for.
You can click on any image to get more information about the project. This post is part of a new series featuring artists I want to experience with my family. Artworks that can not only hold up to some preschool-style attention (destruction), but also change the way we share life and grow up together. Let’s dig.