BROTZEITTISCH, 2001 (coffee-break-table)
Mobile sitting unit wood, metal, plastic bowl, solar-fountain, solar-lamps
Botanischer Garten Munich, Schmuckhof

The baroque structure of the garden is used as a playing field for the mobile table-bench-combination. The sculpture can be used to sit down and have a break. The visitor can push it to a suitable place. In the middle of the metallic green object is a solar fountain that suddenly starts sprinkling with direct sunlight. At night small lamps are shining although no public visitors are in the garden (only the gardeners can have a candle-light-diner). The mobile sit-unit is a self-sufficient system somewhere between tea-table, baroque pavilion and robot.

Beate Engl offers a coffee break table - the title of the work - to the excursionist, like a gigantic piece on an oversized playing field which can be moved, but also functions as a place to sit on. At the same time, the sculpture with its reels, the lamps powered by solar cells and the fountain occasionally ejecting water evokes the image of a small robot leading a life of its own. An autonomous system: during the day the well sprinkles, while at night the lamps are shining. If it moved by itself and said Hello, how are you you would accept it as a new inhabitant of the garden. In its current phase of development it still is a coffee break table, but, who knows, maybe a metamorphosis will take place, Beate Engl explains. The artist invites visitors to peacefulness and relaxation, to leisure time on an extraterrestrial planet and evokes the garden as a paradisiacal site of the good old times. Images of baroque waterworks and idyllic pavilions arise. Characteristic of her work her sculptures are supposed to be entered, touched, played upon and used. Only the participation of the visitor turns the sculpture into a piece to play with and the layout of the garden with its ways and patches into a playing field.
(translated catalogue text by Stephanie Rosenthal, Haus der Kunst Munich)

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