Light Art at Cologne University Hospital

Light Art at Cologne University Hospital

Project Details

23. April 2024
Hartung & Trenz
University Hospital Cologne
TRIO research building
Robert-Koch-Straße 21
50931 Cologne

Project Description

“Body Language” is a walk-through, permanent light art installation by the artist duo Hartung & Trenz on the site of Cologne University Hospital.

The state-of-the-art TRIO research building, which was completed in 2023, is part of Cologne University Hospital and offers around 6,500 m² of floor space for laboratories, ancillary rooms and offices. The clinical-experimental research on infectious diseases and oncology makes a significant contribution to improving Cologne’s position as a research centre and thus ensuring its international competitiveness. A student walkway crosses the grounds of the university hospital from east to west and passes through the TRIO building at Robert-Koch-Straße 21. The light art installation “Body Language” by Detlef Hartung and Georg Trenz is located here.

Around 200 idioms from the German language that refer to body parts or organs are projected onto the floor using 48 PHOS projection systems, e.g. ” To look down your nose”, “To keep at arm’s length”. The short, independent texts are curved and therefore have no uniform alignment – they can be read equally well from different vantage points. The organic alignment forms a contrast to the rectangular geometry of the purpose-orientated research building.

Hartung & Trenz deliberately place their work “Body Language” in the context of this location: medical research, education and practical application. In a playful and sometimes humorous way, associations are made between everyday language and the language of science and anatomy. Passers-by become part of the artwork when they walk or drive through the tunnel, as their clothing and body surface become a projection surface. Terms such as “arm”, “nose” or “eye” appear randomly on their reference objects and create astonishing experiences. A dynamic light choreography is programmed for the evening and night hours, in which groups of texts are dimmed at intervals.

Artistic concept and design:
Hartung & Trenz

University Hospital Cologne with financial support from the state of NRW

Building, general planning and project management:
medfacilities GmbH

Projection systems:
48 x PHOS 85 outdoor

Markus Lück, Derksen Lichttechnik GmbH