Sorcerer’s Apprentice: A Dancing Power Pole in Oberhausen

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On the banks of the Emscher River, near the wooded public garden Gehölzgarten Ripshorst, in the German city of Oberhausen, stands a peculiar structure. It’s an isolated electrical transmission tower standing all alone in a field, away from the others. But he isn’t lonely, rather he is happy not to have the responsibility of carrying power lines like the rest of his buddies. That’s why he is dancing because he is celebrating his freedom. That’s the idea behind this piece of public art created by German artist Inges Idee. It’s called “Zauberlehrling” or “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and was erected in 2013 on the occasion of Emscherkunst, an international art exhibition held every year in the northern Ruhr area. It is now a permanent part of the landscape.

The Zauberlehrling is made of steel and is 35 meter high and weighs a good 10 ton. The sculpture is modeled in height and shape of a conventional power pole. However, all parts were redrawn to give it a dancing character. Depending on the position of the viewer, the curved shape of the mast change so that its alleged movements are even more impressive. (Also see: Playful Electrical Pylon Designs)


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