CHRONOS 10 B, 1979
1 390 x 1 265 x 695 cm
Stainless steel, spotlights, lamps with coloured glass
Munich, Bob-van-Benthem-Platz 1
(c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; photo: Jörg Koopmann
The installation of Phillip King's large-scale commission on the grounds of the European Patent Office coincided with that of another monumental outdoor sculpture: Chronos 10 B by Nicolas Schöffer (*1912 Kalocsa, HU - † 1992 Paris, FR). Schöffer's work comprises 23 mirrors, each of which turns on its own axis and is colourfully illuminated by 19 spotlights. Not only that, but the entire sculpture rotates on its own axis. The piece, which starts moving every day in the early evening (7 p.m. - 9 p.m.), is considered central to the oeuvre of Schöffer, one of the pioneers of kinetic art. It belongs to a series of large public sculptures entitled Chronos, i.e. "time", in which Schöffer explored the relationship between space and time. The passage of time is made manifest in these works by constant changes in each sculpture's form and aspect as its parts rotate and its mirrors cast reflections, interacting with the public. Chronos 10 B's structural dimensions are not the only thing to highlight its proximity to the Deutsches Museum. The sculpture also uses light signals visible from afar to give expression to the connection that exists between the Office's mission to protect inventions and that of the Deutsches Museum to make technical and scientific developments accessible to the general public.