Kirchhundem-Silberg (51.027320 | 8.025985)
Normally, Ulrike Wesely sets a double speaking pace. As a cultural manager, she has to organize a lot and convince people of projects, hence the tongue gallop. But at a meeting to name possible soul places, she promoted the quarry near Silberg by doing just the opposite. She spoke very slowly, saying only a few sentences, with long pauses in between. It must have sounded something like this: "Hidden in the forest... Mysterious with a narrow entrance... There is a great silence... Spring, summer, autumn and winter - the place changes its face each time... Quieter the people there become, very quietly... Slower they also become... They hear how nature speaks to them..." None of those present had heard of the mysterious quarry before. But the performance had become so impressive and the place so present that the decision was unanimous: it was chosen.
This morning Ulrike Wesely slows down again to give me the opportunity to take notes. She wants me to relive how she staged the quarry last year under the title "Enchanted". We walk uphill out of town, leaving the built world behind and entering the world of the forest. Wesely points to a tree stump at a fork in the road: "See the woman with the green cloak... That's the storyteller... A fairy tale from ancient times..." So vividly fantastic is her description that the woman actually appears to me.
A little later she points to a clearing off the path. A tall lady with blond wale hair and a long blue dress steps out from among the trees and plays the violin. The soft forest floor becomes the stage. The classical melodies seem exotic as they now seek their way to our ears between resinous trunks, escaping the tuxedo-and-dress ambience of stiff concert evenings, threading their way into the symphony of songbirds, squeaking branches and bush drums. I can hear it all as if it were happening right now.
At the entrance to the quarry stands the guard. Black cloak, serious face. The conversations of those entering fall silent. In some parts of the valley, the rocky walls are steep and forbidding. In others, gently rising, like an invitation to venture up and explore. In the middle, a pond with dark brown water. Its surface is strewn with withered leaves from the previous year, its depth indefinable. Does it form a heart? Or a half moon? Everyone's imagination decides for itself.
Scattered behind young firs and dead trunks stand musicians. Bells, cymbals and singing bowls are struck, weaving a carpet of sounds that seems to float through the quarry. The narrator makes another appearance. And then the main character of the day: silence.
From the enchanted back to the now. I stand with Ulrike Wesely at the black pond, and after she has described the production to me so vividly and soothingly, we fall into silence in wordless agreement. I look around again with a fresh gaze. Dark water, light green leaves on the branches, mossy stone blocks, gnarled tree stumps that seem to cut wrinkled grimaces at me. And then the question: Does such a place need staging at all? Isn't it enough to look, listen, and let your soul dangle a little, and everyone creates their own scenario? Castle for Hollen and dwarves. High-rope garden of dancing fairies. Retreat for rare species of animals never seen by humans. Scene of the last skirmish between Indians and white settlers. Opera house for silent concerts for daffodils and woodruff.
At the same time, I admire how Wesely coaxes out and amplifies the poetic potential of this place with a few careful interventions. She sets accents, transforms the quarry into concert hall, storytelling room, and forest cinema. And when everyone goes home, no traces are left behind. The place belongs to itself again. Quiet, enchanted, a hidden question mark. Ready for the next fantasy outbreak, by whomever.
Author: Michael Gleich
Schrabben Hof Cultural Estate , Silberger Str. 32, 57399 Kirchhundem.
For further information please contact the Tourist-Information Lennestadt & Kirchhundem: Tel: 02723/608-800, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org