At the Market Square stop it was not possible to attach two ceramic pictures to each platform because there is a siding next to them. That is why there are two pictures on the west side (platform 1) at some distance from each other. Both have titles that open up a wide space for one’s own interpretations, which may stimulate the viewer’s imagination, but also cause confusion. Their working titles, on the other hand, make a direct reference to the ceramics pictures.
Markus Lüpertz originally titled this ceramic picture “Dante sees the inferno (idiosyncratic interpretation)”. Based on the working title, a connection can be made to Dante’s visit to the 9th circle of hell, where perpetual frost reigns so that even the underworld river Kokytos is frozen over. In the 9th circle of hell, traitors of all kinds suffer their punishment for earthly crimes. This can look i.e. as seen in the middle: A woman is halfway in the river. As the woman has a skull on her torso instead of a head, this punishment has been going on for a while. On the other side, her torso is well preserved in the ice. The contrast to Dante, who looks like the victor of a Roman gladiator fight, could not be greater.
On the left, an unidentifiable figure raises its hands in the air. It could represent one of the known traitors – e.g. Judas as the betrayer of Christ, Brutus as the traitor of Caesar or Sisyphus as the traitor of Zeus and Hades. As they are nameless and lack attributes or a reference to the stories and legends reproduced by Lüpertz it could point to the present. Then the figure can stand for all those traitors with whom one may have already had dealings.
Text & translation: © Chris Gerbing, 2023
For a first orientation, you will find here an overview of the 365-day-”Genesis” gallery, which can be reached by underground almost 24 hours a day.