FORGE by Rachel Mars

In 2014 the 100kg iron ‘welcome’ gate was stolen from Dachau concentration camp. A local blacksmith made a replica. It was exactly like the original. 

FORGE is the first of a new set of works about memorials, replicas, and human behaviour at spaces with difficult histories. It will ask what and who memorials are for, what should happen to places where traumatic events have taken place and who decides. It will ask about decay, hallowing, closure, and our responsibility to the present. 

“I’m working with female welders and metal workers, trauma tourism academics, memorial architects and custodians of memory. I have learnt to weld to a reasonable degree.”Rachel Mars

Following a Horizon Showcase residency FORGE premiered at Transform Festival, Leed in April 2022, and in May 2023 was presented at The Barbican and in Bristol with MAYK. 

In August 2023, FORGE will be part of the Horizon Showcase – through the Horizon Live Presentation – at the Edinburgh Festivals.

FORGE is now available for touring 2023-2024.

Please contact for more information.

FORGE – Rachel Mars (image: JMA Photography)

FORGE – Installation

FORGE also features three associated public conversations wherever it is performed, focussing on personal, local, national/international issues of memorial that are pertinent to the area.

FORGE – Rachel Mars (image: JMA Photography)

Commissioned by Transform and Cambridge Junction with support from Stobbs New Ideas Fund. Funded by a Grant from Arts Council England. With support from Chapter Arts Centre, Horizon Showcase, Metal Culture, MGCFutures and Asylum Arts. Originally developed through the Barbican Open Lab programme.