Twenty steel sculptures, each 5m high, were placed on and around the Manes Bridge in central Prague, in dialogue with the baroque sculptures of the historic Charles Bridge. A lone elephant stood on the banks of the Vltava River and three10m high giraffes overlooked the installation from the slopes of Prague Castle. Originally planned to last four months, the project was extended three months by the Czech President at the time, Vaclav Havel, who gave a press conference on the bridge and asked for a prolongation of the installation.
The project was a personal initiative by Nadim Karam. He based it on a fictitious encounter between Kafka and Kandinsky, whose collusion of minds produced a form of visual energy:
“Kafka had asked Kandinsky to meet him on the Manes Bridge, but when he arrived, he found that the bridge did not exist. It was built a few years later. By the time they met and walked across the Charles Bridge together, it was already dusk.
There are reports that during their encounter, strange shadow creatures appeared amongst the baroque statues. Some say that these prefigured the Himmelblau creatures that Kandinsky was later to produce. However, the shadow creatures disappeared when the two men reached the riverbank, so this has never been substantiated.”
Manes Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic