For photos and full story see the Foundation for Art and Public Domain site
On Thursday 24 June 2010, a piece of sculpture by Harmut Wilkening was placed on the first floor of the De Burcht nursing home in Hoogezand. It is a head weighing more than seven tons and is titled Vrij geestig (Quite witty). Just before a start was made with laying the roof in 2009, the sculpture was installed with the aid of an enormous crane. Prior to the installation, a programme was held in the carcass of the building with a presentation by the artist and an introduction by Douwe Draaisma, titled ‘Wisdom comes with the years, but is preceded by forgetfulness’. Douwe Draaisma is Professor in the History of Psychology at the University of Groningen.
The building of the De Burcht residential nursing home has the form of a panopticon. From the open well on the first floor there is an all-round view of the galleries on the upper floors where the entrance doors of the apartments are located. Inspired by the idea of a central point in the building from which everything can be seen in a single glance, and which can itself be seen from all angles, Harmut Wilkening proposed to make a large sculpture depicting the head of Michel Foucault, the theoretician of ‘panopticism’. The concrete portrait of the French philosopher sports a broad smile, his arm emerges from the floor and his hand is resting on his bald head.