Intervention: War and Peace
When geopolitical tensions mounted in the lead-up to World War II, Benito Mussolini built a series of fortifications along Italy’s mountainous northern border. Today, stripped, sealed, and largely abandoned, the concrete bunkers are relics of a bygone era. One example, however, in the Tyrolean town of Tarces, sees a new road to take. Sculptor Othmar Prenner pierced the facade of Bunker 23, owned by art collector Berhard von Spinn, with a 1983 camping caravan—a vehicle connoting freedom and independence. “I had a vision of leaving the dark past behind and creating something positive,” Prenner says.
It took nine workers from a nearby quarry three days to cut a hole large enough to fit the curvy cabin, which cantilevers dramatically as if about to careen into the alpine abyss. Inside the bunker, the artist added beds to the 12 rooms—available for overnighters by invitation only. Around the rooftop terrace, which by law required a safety railing, he staggered pine slats in a formation depicting the sound waves of John Lennon’s 1969 anti-war anthem “Give Peace a Chance.” Above it flies a rainbow flag, a reference to both LGBTQ pride and loving harmony.