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With: HAKA Kunz

© Frank Kleinbach

Waldenbuch, Marktplatz

Philipp Messner: »Soap fountain/Waldenbucher Seifenbrunnen«

In 1946, Helene and Hans Kunz from Waldenbuch made their own shampoo in a washing tub. In the process, they accidentally invented neutral soap. First produced in the domestic bathtub and bottled in jam jars, the new product conquered the German market.

The artist Philipp Messner looked back at this story and installed a fountain for neutral soap in the middle of Waldenbuch.

At the time when the company was founded, households in the area could buy their soap directly from Helene and Hans. Today, local residents and visitors were invited to fill their own containers of soap free of charge at the fountain. Along with giving a historical event his own particular twist, Messner also had his finger on the pulse of today's concerns. Packaging-free direct marketing is a possible alternative to other waste-intensive distribution channels.

The Artist

Philipp Messner was born in 1975 in Bolzano. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris under Michelangelo Pistoletto and Giuseppe Penone, two leading lights of the Arte Povera movement. His works have been exhibited at the Stadtmuseum in Munich, the Museion in Bolzano, the Galeria Foksal in Warsaw, the Fei Contemporary Art Center in Shanghai and the ERES Foundation in Munich. Philipp Messner has been awarded numerous prizes and grants, including the VHV Art Prize 2014. His works are represented in public and private collections and are also on display at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, the Museion in Bolzano and the Austrian Federal Chancellery collection in Vienna. Messner lives and works in Munich.

Artist website
© VG Bildkunst, Bonn

The Company

Company website



71111 Waldenbuch


6–28 October 2018