Detailed project description to the artwork „Der Bevölkerung“ by Hans Haacke.

From the center of the Reichstag building’s northern courtyard, white neon lettersbeam the words DER BEVÖLKERUNG (To The Population) toward the sky. Laid outon the ground along the courtyard’s long axis, the 1.2m (47 inch) high letters can beread from the Assembly Hall from West to East. Visitors on the roof of the buildingsee them glowing on the bottom of the courtyard.

The typeface is derived from theinscription DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE (To The German People) above the Reichstag’sWest entrance.The Members of the Bundestag are invited to bring to the courtyard 50 kilos(approx. 100 pounds) of soil from their election districts or from the States wherethey were elected from a party list. This soil, coming from 669 different regions ofthe Federal Republic (corresponding to the current number of deputies), is to bespread in a wooden trough measuring 6.3 x 20.8 x 0.3 m (248×8 x 11 inches) around the neon letters.

Naturally, embedded in the soil brought to Berlin will be seeds and roots from eachof the places of origin. These will sprout together with airborne seeds from Berlin.Plant growth mut be allowed to deveop freey, without any tending. Whenlegislators leave Parliament, a portion of soil, commensurate with their contribution,will be removed. Newly elected Members of Parliament will also be invited to add tothe soil in the courtyard, and thereby also to the vegetation.

The process of plant growth and the adding and removing of soil, which follows therhythm of parliamentary terms, is to continue as long as democratically electedlegislators come together in the Reichstag © 2015Plaques are to be installed at locations from which the words DER BEVÖLKERUNGcan be seen, i.e. at Assembly Hall level, on the press floor, and in areas where thepublic is admitted, both in the Assembly Hall and on the roof. Listed on theseplaques are the names of all Members of Parliament (with their party affiliation andthe districts and states they represent). The plaques also provide a briefexplanation of the conceptual background of the lettering, the process of plantgrowth, and the dates on which MPs contributed soil. At the beginning of everylegislative term, the plaques are to be replaced by new ones so that they reflect thechanged membership of the Parliament.In order to allow the widest possible access from outside the building, a Website willbe set up for the information of the plaques and with a current photo of theCourtyard. A Webcam overlooking the courtyard in a fixed position will beprogrammed to take a photo every two hours. The image taken at noon will beposted on the Website for the visitors. The Website should be updated daily. Adatabank with an ever-expanding picture archive will track changes in the courtyardthrough a time-lapse recording.

Using a link from the Website, legislators who have contributed solo the Courtyardwill also be able to present their own texts and images „To The Population.“Objects that do not belong to the project are to be removed from the courtyard.