Just a small distance from one of Berlin’s renowned landmarks, many sculptures stand in recognition of hardships, achievements and important events in the world’s history. One of the more obscure installations is dedicated to one of the fathers of modern science, Galileo Galelei. Created by artist Mark Di Suvero, the piece embodies shapes and forms that can be linked to the work Galileo undertook back in the 1600s.
Galileo become known after his death for theorising something that completely contradicted the understanding of the time. His theory around heliocentrism proposed that Earth and the other planets revolved around the Sun, in contrast to the belief at the time that everything revolved around the Earth. Galileo was eventually placed under house arrest for the final 9 years of his life in 1933, following a lengthy battle with the Catholic church.
Galileo’s theory of heliocentrism has held until this day, with many other scientists carrying out work towards the same hypothesis. At a similar time to Galileo a scientist by the name of Kepler began theorising the mathematics behind heliocentrism and gravity of large objects. Another famous name of Isaac Newton would later solidify mankind’s understanding of gravity to what it is today, just 50 years after Galileo’s death.
The Italian scientist’s contribution to his field cannot be disputed, he had theorised a plethora of work surrounding physics and astronomy. This work has now added Galileo Galilei’s name to textbooks, internet writings and even to physical commemorations such as the piece here in Berlin. Situated in the middle of a man made pond, Skulptur Galileo stands awkwardly, pointing and taking attention to various points of its surroundings.
The abstract piece visually brings together the physical theories proposed by Galileo, and manifests itself in a way that is completely at home without being homely at all. At the centre of the piece are spherical curves matching that of the theory of heliocentrism, with attention being both drawn in and taken away from it by straight and fragmented pieces of steel girder. The expressionism utilised here begins to bring a visual representation to something incredibly complicated and un-visual.