When I was reading the article Alles zerfällt, Utopien wie Banken. Doch nichts bröselt so grandios wie die Skulpturen von Adrián Villar Rojas (All is falling apart, utopias as banks. But nothing crumbles so grandiosely as the sculptures of Adrián Villar Rojas.) in the series Somewhere Totally Else in Das Magazin. I was mesmerised.

Hans Ulrich Obrist – Curator and Co-Director of the Serpentine Gallery in London – tells the story of his encounter with the incredible sculpture A Person Loved Me of Adrián Villar Rojas. The sculpture is big, very big, from floor to ceiling in the exhibition hall. And more amazing, it’s made of clay.

Rojas putts all his care and passion into building his clay structure. He works with his team intensively during long workdays. It’s all well planned, they know exactly what they want. They build something grandiose knowing that the piece will go its own way as soon it’s finished.

The monumental piece of clay starts crumbling the moment it was finished. Villar Rojas’ peace of work is perishable, it’s a snapshot in time. The sculpture exists in the moment. The material is working. Time and climate are leaving its marks. It transforms in its own rhythm. There is the instant moment of grandiose beauty and the evolving process of changing beauty. Every day it’s new.

So why was this fleeting sculpture triggering my attention? What were Villar Rojas and Obrist resonating in me? I am not shaping sculptures. I am working in knowledge management with the final intent to support and strengthen the collaboration with communities and their endeavours.

  • What counts is the evolving process of change. No plan can ensure a final product that is stable. Each result is a snapshot, a stopover in an endless process of change and transformation. Projects are artificial. It’s about life and life is never finished. There is renewal but no standstill. Life responds to new circumstances.
  • We are working with living systems. We cannot copy our social project work 1:1 or transport it; it is falling apart as the sculptures of Villar Rojas. We have to re-build each project with the people concerned. Each time with care and passion.
  • We have to value the moment, celebrate the moment, the achievements and then go on.