Talsperre Eibenstock

"Kingdom of Fishes": Eibenstock Dam adorned with large-scale artwork

On the wall of the Eibenstock Dam, the reverse graffiti artist Klaus Dauven has created a large-scale artwork. Using high-pressure cleaners, he etched a drawing out of the 30-year-old dirt layer, depicting two native trout. The picture, entitled "Kingdom of Fishes", can be seen in the contrast between the light and dark of the cleaned and uncleaned surfaces. Kärcher offered support and advice throughout the project as part of its cultural sponsorship programme, contributing both experience and technology.

The two trout are positioned one on top of the other and stretch across the entire width of the dam wall. They are drawn cut across lengthways so that only the back of one of the fish and the underside of the other can be seen. The way the fish are depicted creates the impression of movement – they appear to be moving in the water. The river trout, which is native to the Ore Mountains, is an important bioindicator because it can only survive in very clean water. The image of the fish is therefore symbolic of the quality of the drinking water in the Eibenstock reservoir.

In order to transfer the artist's design onto the dam wall, it was digitised by a surveying company and projected onto the wall using laser technology. Industrial climbers marked points onto the dam wall, which the artist then connected up to create the image. The artist worked from a facade lift and was supported by the industrial climbers, who abseiled from the top of the dam. Three HD 13/18-4 S cold water high-pressure cleaners were used to carry out the work.

The artist

Klaus Dauven has been using Kärcher high-pressure cleaners since 2003 to create temporary artworks in public spaces. He was born in 1966 in Düren (North Rhine-Westphalia) and studied art in Düsseldorf, Münster and Aix-en-Provence. Klaus Dauven has received numerous awards for his work, including the Joseph and Anna Fassbender Prize from the city of Brühl and the Düren Art Prize. He now lives in Kreuzau (North Rhine-Westphalia). In collaboration with Kärcher, he has already adorned several dam walls with his temporary artworks, including the Olef Dam in the Eifel region in 2007 and the Matsudagawa Dam in Japan in 2008.

The Eibenstock Dam

The Eibenstock Dam went into operation in 1982. It is the largest drinking water reservoir in Saxony. With its capacity of around 64 million cubic metres of water, the reservoir supplies drinking water to the greater Zwickau-Chemnitz area. The dam also helps in providing flood protection, raising low water levels and generating power. The mighty wall of the Eibenstock dam is around 300 metres long and 57 metres high.