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Ralf Sander developed for this public art piece an artistic strategy to make a sculpture an active part of the peace process in Northern Ireland. In this context he could research the impact and possibilities of his earlier developed inverted sculpture and viewers reactions on the absence of the object. In this context he invited the citizens of Belfast to give their hands to complete the sculpture. Giving hands is an archaic gesture of welcome, of reconciliation but also business and promises were sealed this way. The giving of the hand will be the symbolic handprint into the soft clay of the middle column of the sculpture during the making process. In doing so, the people are giving their word to the future. All participants make a personal and unpublished pledge to themselves, thus creating an invisible manifesto. These promises do not stand for one but of many voices. They point to a shared future for Belfast people. Sander wanted to alter the relationship between art and viewer. The individual is no longer just part of the public but is rather made part of the art. He anticipated the aesthetics of a democratic civil society in search of its cultural dimension.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSuffolk Lenadoon Interface 124 Stewartstown Road, Belfast BT11 9JQ.
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Jun 2015


  • participative sculpture
  • artistic strategy
  • peace process in northern ireland
  • public art impact


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    Sander, R., 29 Jun 2014

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

    Open Access

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