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2007 SYMPOSIUM MERZBAU «ORGANIC FUNCTIONALISM»



Sunday, 18. November 2007
Curated by Adrian Notz and Hans Ulrich Obrist


In the first Symposium Merzbau "Historical Dimensions and Contemporary Potential" in 2005 scientific insights and historical expertise on the Merzbau by Peter Bissegger, Prof. Karel Dudesek, Dr. Dietmar Elger, Gwendolen Webster, were faced with contemporary concepts in architecture, art mediation, and art practice, by Stefano Boeri, Giovanni Carmine, Yona Friedman, Pierluigi Nicolin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Karin Orchard, Gabriel Orozco, Gregor Schneider to open up a new field of research on the Merzbau.

This field spanned (hypertensive) from personal thinking spaces (Denkräume), over architectural spaces and buldings, which control, direct and process whole urban and social structures, and showed a Merz World that is processing the "complicated order", as Yona Friedman put it.
Focussing on the idea of personal thinking spaces, or in german "Denkräume", the second Symposium Merzbau 2006 "Installative Event-Sculpture" elaborated this topic with contributions by Marc Angelil, Thomas Demand, Peter Fend, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ian Hunter & Celia Larner, Marcel Meili, Angelika Nollert, Juri Steiner and Philip Ursprung. It was dealing with relations like form and inform (non-form), installation, process and happening and the openness or closeness of systems.
With the third Symposium Merzbau 2007 «Organic Functionalism» we would like to follow some hints given in the last Symposium Merzbau. One of them was given by Ian Hunter and Richard Hamilton, who are working on the Merzbarn in Elterwater in England and another one is given by project "27 senses" by ELECTRA in connection with the two Norwegian Merzbaus or Merzhuts in Lysaker and Hjertoya. In this framework Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Karl Homqvist and Jutta Koether are participating and will give us an insight with their performative contributions to the Symposium Merzbau 2007 «Organic Functionalism».
Following these hints we are looking foward to elaborate the idea of the Merzbau as a dynamic system in the sense of a naturally grown, organic space. Therefore our intention/tendency is to confront it with the term «Organic Functionalism» which was developed during the same time as the Merzbau. With these hints (inklinings) and with this confrontation we also approach the therome of „nature", that has been discussed a lot recently in architecture, in science, in everyday life and politics.

If one speaks about an orientation towards nature this has mainly a scientific and technological background. Nowadays certain technologies allow to be inspired by natural processes and to follow a bottom-up principle, as François Roche from R&Sie(n) will show us in his presentation.
In Symposium Merzbau 2007 «Organic Functionalism» our aim is to approach the Merzbau from this organic and natural perspective. In this context the term «Organic Functionlism» is mainly used as a background note, as point of departure (outgoing point), or as question added to the study on the relation of artists and architects to the Merzbau.
Contemplating the Merzbau by Kurt Schwitters as a dynamic process or, as Thomas Hirschhorn put it in the last conference, as a grotto or a stream of lava that was frozen at a certain moment, it can also be associated with organic functionalism. To a certain degree even an anthroposophic interpretation of the Merzbau is possible: as it was designed by Kurt Schwitters according to his own perception and opinion. An approach to radically personal spaces Didier F. Faustino will be pointing out.



ADRESSE und ÖFFNUNGSZEITEN cabaret voltaire Präsidialdepartement der Stadt Zürich