6 December, 2016
At the Museum Insel Hombroich, beside the river Erft near Düsseldorf, 11 brick structures by the sculptor Erwin Heerich function as a kind of fragmented gallery for one man’s collection of art. Together with an adjacent site, a redeveloped former NATO rocket station which houses four other Heerich buildings, the ‘museum island’ is home to a small collective of artists, musicians and poets.
Müller once said ‘I believe that art is a self-sufficient living entity’. Self-sufficient? Then perhaps it will look after itself. Müller certainly felt that art should be nourished but not coddled. Hombroich Island isn’t really an island, rather a landscape of undefined marshy land, known in German as Broich, through which a number of small streams flow. It was by restoring and recreating the flow of these streams that the land was brought back to life. A sodden Arcadia? Paradise enough for now. (William Firebrace, Paradise on Erft, AAFiles 71, 2015)