ab actu ad posse valet illatio

from the past one can infer the future

The boundaries of the European Union have been continually changing since its inception. There are many methods for defining it's centre but if one is to make a subjective estimation it is probably in a field somewhere close to the Czech Republic-Poland border. That is the location for this installation.

The history of Europe has been transcribed in detail and it has taught us that the future has often been different to that which was anticipated. But we have also learned that the past is not always written nor remembered the same way and that meanings and memories often change with time.

What we do know is that no matter how many countries are part of Europe or whatever earthy events have taken place there has always been a pole star. As the earth hurtles through space this star defines its trajectory. It is the only fixed point in the sky and has been, through the ages, the guardian of sailors and travelers of the northern hemisphere. In the absence of a trustworthy vision of the future it is reassuring to see where we have been and know that we are spinning inexorably forward in the opposite direction.

The proposed installation is an observatory constructed of a basalt fiber spiral tube 14m high with an inner dimension of 2.5 – 3m to accommodate the 1,4° fluctuation of Polaris, the current pole star. Like any precise instrument it will require adjustment as the axis of the Earth's rotation changes relative to the plane of the elliptic path over the course of 26,000 years. Over this period 9 stars share the role of pole star, as they sequentially become the star closest to the northern celestial pole. With each change of star the observatory will need to be re-calibrated and the direction of Europe's future will be changed with it.

''I am constant as the northern star, of whose true-fixed and resting quality. There is no fellow in the firmament.''
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Caesar, in Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 60-2

Client : Association Atelier PAEMA
Architects : Studio Granda
Artist : Kristinn E. Hrafnsson
Photography : a guesstimated assumption / Kristinn E. Hrafnsson