The Concept ‘Minestone’ – Connecting the Past and the Present
My idea is to make public objects from minestone-granulate. Stones brought to the surface by thousands of coal miners, this material
was initially classified as waste. By doing this I hope to realize a project that will excavate the past in both a physical and a narrative artistic sense.
Imagine yourself sitting on a Minestone-seat in an average residential area and your smartphone informs you that right
underneath you is a 500 meter deep shaft. By creating & realizing these objects above the same coalfield in Belgium, Germany & The Netherlands I hope to create an International Minestone network connecting people, cities, regions and even countries.
Just as thousands of pebbles form a stable connection with cement and water, I want to use this project to create links between
underground and above ground, between cities, regions, countries and especially between people who just sit on one of my benches.
IBA-Parkstadt and Kerkrade (NL) already ordered the first two benches. The Foundation ‘Stichting Behoud Mijnhistorie’ (NL) also has promised to order a bench as soon as there is a larger ‘network’.
Paul Koenen – in association with Harold van Ingen/ISB.NL
Text by Dorothée van Hooff
‘I think the making of Paul Koenen’s benches is a brilliant idea. To take the waste product from coal mining and reuse it to make something that’s not only useful today, but is also a memorial to an industry and a way of life that has now disappeared, is inspiring. Sometime ago, whilst writing a book about the British coal miners , I was lucky enough to spend time with mining communities up and down the country . I hope Paul Koenen’s benches will entice todays’s generation to ask questions about the people and the industry that were at the centre of our lives for so long.”
Lord Tony Hall / Director general BBC
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