Wegmarken Wegmarken

he work Wegmarken consists of tinder mushrooms collected on exploratory trips through the forests of the countries of Europe. Each mushroom bears the GPS coordinates of its place of origin / country. The mushrooms are arranged on a white powder-coated aluminum plate. As early as the Neolithic period, the loose-felty middle layer of the mushroom, the so-called trama, was processed into tinder, which immediately begins to smoulder when struck by sparks and thus helps to start a fire. It is through this use that the mushroom got its name. Tinder polypore smoulders very slowly and was also used to store or transport embers. The use of tinder polypore dates back almost 10,000 years. This is proven by several finds from stone age settlements. The glacier man, who was found in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps and whose age is dated to more than 5,000 years, carried tinder fungus with him on his final hike. The tinder mushroom was one of the first tools that made people independent of natural lightning to start fires. Therefore, the tinder mushroom is, so to speak, "jointly responsible" for enabling long journeys and exploration of new areas and thus contributed as a cultural artifact to the settlement of Europe. In addition, the fire is the fireplace that gives the protection and warmth and contributed to the beginning of cultural development. The work Wegmarken thus forms through its materiality and appearance, historical referentiality and process of creation, a narrative that invites viewers to contemplation and imaginary discovery.


© Markus Hoffmann