"The shrine of the honorable merchant" by Braun & Braunschweig How should we act? What is right, what is wrong? The human being as a social being meets different actors every day. When asked how to act, this question already conceals "trade", i.e. "economic activity" as such. "The Shrine of the Honourable Merchant", a sculpture by the artist duo Braun & Braunschweig, clearly demonstrates the moral compass of economic activity. Usually shrines are found in altars or sculptures and contain the bones of saints. Small shrines can be found not only in churches, but also on the corners of houses, streets and paths. They often contain statues of patron saints, which are connected with the cultural and religious history of their place. Also "The shrine of the Honourable Merchant" is directly related to its place of exhibition. The shrine has a height of over 2 metres and is crowned by a sun and moon top. Hundreds of small, purple tiles line the exterior of the shrine. The four niches in the upper part of the shrine are tiled black. The dark monumentality of the shrine thus draws attention to the "relics" of the economy in the niches. Four white casts shine brightly in the dark niches and symbolise the two dualities that are exemplary for the world of business. The gestures of giving and taking, as well as of oath and breaking of oath contain fundamental questions of "trade(s)" with each other: profit and loss, plus and minus, contract and the breach of contract, the promise and its failure to keep.
Text: Marius Nüsslein