17/06/2008 to 23/08/2008 Volkwin Marg - Structure and Intention 


Duration of exhitibion
18.06. – 28.08.2008

Orgel-Art-Museum Rhein Nahe,
Windesheim bei Mainz

Technology [Gk: the systematic λόγος (expression) of τέχνη (art or skill)] and art have been conceptually affiliated since antiquity, and referred to the same skills. Whether it was the Pantheon in Rome, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance domes or Baroque bridges, technology and art were both always needed to produce a piece of total architectural theatre. The cultural gap between the rational progressiveness of technology and art as an emotional reaction first emerged with the constant acceleration of the pace of change in our consciousness from the Industrial Revolution onwards. Since then, architecture and its practitioners have, like Janus, faced in different directions – as engineers inventing “engineering tours de force” and as architects wanting interpretative drama.

The cultural revolutionary storm of many avantgarde architects in the 20th century’s conquest of technology did not change the fundamentals of that. They behaved like interpreting astrologers leaving their aesthetic ivory towers in order to occupy the observatories of ingeneerious  astronomers. This was of course less in a quest for a synthesis with technology (e.g. at various points involving steamships, machines or construction) but more a matter of commandeering current objects for their undiminished appetite for interpretation. Little has changed in this approach since early Constructivism or late Deconstructionism.

Volkwin Marg looks for real syntheses of art and technology as architectural drama, regardless of such tendencies. Such syntheses may equally be found in engineering tours de force, whether bridges, towers, halls, arenas or stadia.

The examples presented in the exhibition as projects or buildings – Olympic Stadium/Berlin, the Chinese National Stadium/Beijing, Durban Stadium/South Africa, New Leipzig Fair, Rimini Fair, Kiel Hörn Bridge etc. – incorporate both approaches, creating integral architecture in a dialogue between the interpretative and the deductive quest for meaningful form. Design logic involving the latest technological developments comes up with meaning when it evolves out of an open confrontation between architect and engineer as equal partners.