Sonnenspuren – Traces of the Sun

walking with the time: drawings of sun temples
in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia

live-drawings, sculpture, video, book, panoramic
installation by Katharina Klemm KHM 2015

Artist book

In my artistic work one of my focusses is concerned with the various aspects of the sun as beeing a source of energy, star, symbol, myth as well as a reference for cosmic-mathematical parameters.

In spring 2014 I travelled to different pre-Columbian sun temples in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru and decided to work at these places. There, in the Andean region, is the greatest density of these huge architectural constructions, which are oriented towards the movement of the sun. For the pre-Columbian Andean society – for the Incas or even for an earlier civilization – these constructions had a deep cosmological and ritual significance. Among other things, they were used as a calendrical systems. The firm anchoring of these places in the cultural memory of the Andes is still reflected in vibrating and living myths, in stories, architecture and rituals.

The drawings that I made during my trip are closely connected with these sun temples, more precisely, with the sun and its movement. All my practical work was created in direct physical relationship to the phenomenon of light and space.
My own temporal and spatial localization in these architectural structures, the orientation of the buildings, the movements in them, and also the way to reach them – normally by walking over hours through an untouched landscape – influenced the form of the drawings.

Therefore my practical work did not intend to focus on a documention or a scientific study of these architectural structures whose history, meaning and origin is still not clear. Instead emphasis was given to my physical involvement in their rhythm determined by the sun and in fact this intense physical participation was the prerequsite to experience the phenomenon of time in the sun temples.

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-Artist’s book, Leporello

sonnenspuren_Katha Publication:

Katharina Klemm
Spuren der Sonne
Ein Einblick in die Bedeutung der Sonne für die Kosmologie der andinen Kulturen
Akademie Vlg 2015


The shape of the sculpture “sun traces” resembles to the Andean architecture named “waka”. These structures which mark holy places are spread all over south america. There are theories, that they where used to determine the time. In the fired clay sculpture a video shows the movements of the shades of these Andean stone pyramides.

-Sculpture: Installation, 01:05

-Sculpture: Shadow running, 03:00

Orient – a panoramic installation
Orient is a 360° panorama where the viewer is immersed in the fictitiuous movement of the sun. Apart from natural conditions the sun seems to run on a constant horizontal line through four different locations and landscapes.

Facing towards the east 4 cameras took shots of the morning sun when it stood on an angel of 6°. This procedure was repeated over a period of one year.

For one panoramic cycle the sun needs 10 minutes and performance again in a constant loop.

Set up:
Four cameras were installed facing to the east at different locations. At the winter solstice in 2011 the documentation of the morning sun started. At an exact programmed time, the cameras recorded the sun at it altitude of 6 °.

-Orient: Installation, 01:14

-Orient: Video, 09:01

Supervisor: Prof. Heide Hagebölling-Eisenbeis, Prof. Raimund Krumme, Stéphanie Beaugrand. Panorama Orient: Martin Nawrath, programming; Bernd Voss, Installation; technische Betreuung: thomas hawranke, KHM 2015