Back to top

Vortex of History

At the centre of the House of European History is the magnificent sculpture, the “Vortex of History”. Watch the filmclip to get an impression of the Vortex of History.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-JXyfmPMp4  

The Vortex of History is a representation of the dynamism of European history and its ever-changing interpretations. It contrasts with the pure architectural lines of the building, but some similarities are hinted at through the use of materials employed and the remaining metallic elements, which all vibrate together as a result of the effect of the light coming from above. The letters merge into quotations from significant moments in European history, as they burst into the exhibition spaces. In total 27 quotes by different people from the past are incorporated in the sculpture.

Read the following 5 quotes:

‘THE FORMULA FOR BEING HUMAN IS MEMORY PLUS HOPE’

(Yuri Andrukhovych, 2004)

‘WHAT HOLDS EUROPE TOGETHER AND WHAT DIVIDES IT IS... A COMMON MEMORY…’

(Adolph Muschg, 2003)

‘EUROPE COMMUNICATES THROUGH TRANSLATION’

(Umberto Eco, 2012)

‘OUR TWENTIETH CENTURY IS THE CENTURY OF FEAR’

(Albert Camus, 1946)

’THE LAMPS ARE GOING OUT ALL OVER EUROPE, WE SHALL NOT SEE THEM LIT AGAIN IN OUR LIFE-TIME’

(Sir Edward Grey, 1914)

Questions:

Which one do you like the best?

What would be your quote or dream for Europe now in the situation we are dealing with?

Extra information:

https://historia-europa.ep.eu/en/focus/curators-notes-vortex-history

Extra pictures:

http://www.gmetal.es/trabajos/museos/House_of_European_History.html

Fun facts:

  • It is a 25-meter high metal installation;
  • It spans six floors;
  • It is made of aluminium-magnesium alloy, steel;
  • Most parts were made in Spain already and everything was put together in the museum;
  • It has 27 quotes;
  • It has the Greek alphabet in the sculpture. This goes back to the story of Cadmus you heard about in the previous activity 2.

GALLERY