August 15, 2008 - MEGASTRUCTURE RELOADED - Exhibition and Symposium
August 15, 2008

Exhibition and Symposium

Guenther Domenig & Eilfried Huth
Stadt Ragnitz with Wohnvolumen Habitat, 1969.

Visionary architecture and urban design of the sixties reflected by contemporary artists
by European Art Projects
20 September – 2 November 2008
Preview: 19 September 2008
Symposium: 18 & 19th of October 2008

Former State Mint
Molkenmarkt 2

Architects and artists:
Archigram, Archizoom, Alan Boutwell, Guenther Domenig & Eilfried Huth, Constant, Yona Friedman / Groupe d’Etudes d’Architecture Mobile, Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz, Superstudio

José Dávila, Simon Dybbroe Moeller, Ryan Gander, Erik Goengrich, Franka Hoernschemeyer, Gordon Matta-Clark, Victor Nieuwenhuijs & Maartje Seyferth, Tobias Putrih, Tomás Saraceno, Katrin Sigurdardóttir, Tilman Wendland

curated by Sabrina van der Ley and Markus Richter / European Art Projects

In the early 1960s, the London-based Archigram group around Peter Cook designed Plug-In City, a megastructure in the form of a both roomy and gigantic framework into which mobile units (Plug-Ins) for all sorts of purposes and needs could be slotted, moved, and removed. Nothing was predetermined; everything was to change according to the changing needs of its users. Around the same time, Constant Nieuwenhuys in Amsterdam was working on New Babylon, an urban landscape branching out like a rhizome covering existing cities, resting on columns and pillars. The “sectors” of New Babylon form one endless, convoluted spatial continuum, a tangle of levels and passages, joined by struts and braces. The interiors are neither fixed nor defined. Rather, space is redefined over and over again by “homo ludens,” drifting through the labyrinthine passages, determined solely by creativity and the power of his imagination.

MEGASTRUCTURE RELOADED is dedicated to the visionary urban designs of the 1960s, which crystallize in the idea of the Megastructure. These urban visions are setting the starting point for ten projects by contemporary artists. José Dávila (Mexico), Simon Dybbroe Moeller (Denmark), Ryan Gander (GB), Erik Goengrich (Germany), Franka Hoernschemeyer (Germany), Victor Nieuwenhuijs & Maartje Seyferth (Netherlands), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia/USA), Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/Germany), Katrin Sigurdardóttir (Iceland/USA) and Tilman Wendland (Germany) have developed installations especially for the theme megastructure. Aside from these contemporary statements the exhibition will show drawings, collages and models of megastructure projects from the 1960s. The designs by Archigram, Archizoom, Alan Boutwell, Yona Friedman, Guenther Domenig & Eilfried Huth, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz and Superstudio are not only interesting as architectural projects. They also fascinate with their visual strategies borrowed from pop culture as well as through their ability documenting the times of reflection of the social fermentation crucial for the 1960s. In addition, we will show Gordon Matta-Clark’s film on his Parisian installation Conical Intersect, which was set-up in 1975 across from the construction site of the Centre Pompidou, one of the few realized megastructures.

The exhibition architecture is developed by Dennis Crompton, a former member of Archigram, in collaboration with raumlabor_berlin, a Berlin based collective of architects. The exhibition will not only do justice to the subject in terms of content; megastructures will also be represented by the exhibition’s architecture.

The exhibition will not be a documentary representation however; instead the megastructuralists are to be tested for their currency and relevance to the problems of contemporary urban design. The focus will be on the connection, so significant for these designs, between spatial structures and visual art, as well as on actual architectural and urban-design issues, while examining whether megastructures offer a feasible conceptual approach for the problems of fast-growing mega cities.

Thus, integral parts of the project will be a symposium and a workshop. The symposium with renowned international scholars, urbanists and architects will take place at the exhibition venue on 18 and 19th of October 2008. It will be followed by a workshop with young architects, architectural students and researchers.

A comprehensive bilingual catalogue will be available published by Hatje Cantz (order no. ISBN 978-3-7757-2216-2). With 368 pages and more than 150 color illustrations it features texts by Eilfried Huth, Thilo Hilpert, Carsten Krohn, Tom McDonough, Pelin Tan, Marie Theres Stauffer, Hadas Steiner, Joyce Tsai, Florian Urban, and others. The catalogue, edited by Sabrina van der Ley and Markus Richter, investigates the subject in more depth, tracing the megastructuralists’ historical precursors, and examining the relationship between the Megastructure-Avantgarde and the architects who in the 1950s actually realized new cities such as Chandigarh and Brasila. The movement’s individual protagonists will be presented in detail and there are introductions on all the artists. Moreover, there will be ten artists’ plug-ins, visual essays by each of the participating artists presenting their personal approach towards the concept of Megastructure.

MEGASTRUCTURE RELOADED is funded by the Capital Culture Fond, Berlin and the Berlin Lottery Foundation

Additional support is kindly provided by the British Council, Berlin; Danish Arts Council, Center for Icelandic Art, Reykjavik; Fundación/Collección Jumex, Mexico; Ikea Stiftung, Hofheim-Wallau; Koenig GmbH & Co KG, Moringen; Lafarge Gips GmbH, Oberursel; Nuessli AG, Huettwilen; The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green; Mexican Embassy in Berlin/Office of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and the Mondriaan Stichting, Amsterdam.

Project Partners: Archigram Archives, London, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin; Greige / Buero fuer Design, Berlin, Hatje Cantz, Berlin; raumlabor_berlin and Weiss-Heiten Design, Berlin/ London/ Paris

For images and further information please view or contact Anne Maier at European Art Projects,, Tel. +49.30.30 38 18 37.


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