Star Work № 14: Sieglar-96-09-21
To be seen on the photograph entitled Sieglar-96-09-21 is the so-called “Kaiserbau” on the airport autobahn A 59 between Cologne, the venerable cathedral city, and Bonn, the up-and-coming capital of West Germany at that time. In 1972, the Cologne tycoon Franz Kaiser, urban director Heinz-Bernward Gerhardus, mayor Josef Ludwig and a few other dignitaries were behind the construction of the largest and most luxurious hotel in West Germany. It had twenty floors and was 60 metres high, 74 metres long. It had more than 500 rooms, 1,200 beds and a swimming pool on the roof. Total cost: 45 million DM.
But it remained an uncompleted building that never housed a single person. For thirty years it was a contemporary non finito, the symbol of a utopia, a site of yearning, a memorial and an adventure-playground. After the German Action Artist HA Schult temporarily transformed the building in 1999 with photographic portraits of famous persons, it was demolished on 13 May 2001 and disappeared from the landscape.
Not without reason is the Biblical tale of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11: 1-9) with its linguistic chaos one of the best-known narratives in the Old Testament, in spite of its brevity of only nine verses: God puts an end to the presumptuous construction project by sowing a confusion of languages which, because of insurmountable difficulties in mutual understanding, forces the project to be abandoned.
In spite of its dimensions, its massiveness and obtrusiveness, the Kaiserbau became part of the landscape over time. A patina of graffiti and moss caused it to merge with its surroundings in a certain sense. So already before being torn down, it had disappeared from general perception.
(Denise Essig, revised version)
Within the Star Work series a different artwork from the IKOB Collection is displayed each time.
Star Work № 26: Saint Matthieu par Gérémie Geißelbrunn (1595 – 1660) photographié comme Dimitris Alexandrou par Errikos Andreou
Star Work № 25: A Billion Square Circles
STAR WORK № 24: Checkpoint Charlie
Star Work № 23: Babalú Ayé
Star Work № 22: Sorry
Star Work № 21: République Libre de Clairefontaine
Star Work № 20: Constructor
Star Work № 19: DEIN GEILSTER MÄDCHENFLUGKÖRPER SCHREIT TOTALST: NUR VORNE IST EVOLUTION IM SCHRITT "MARSCH MARSCH", VERSACHLICHT ALLES.
Star Work № 18: Ohne Titel
Star Work № 17: Corte Cromático, Tribute to André Blank
Star Work № 16: Statement 34/56
Star Work № 15: Texte zur Kunst
Star Work № 13: LBYD/SOI
Star Work № 12: Untitled
Star Work № 11: Composition
Star Work № 10: Geschlossene Scheune [Closed Barn]
Star Work № 9: Poésie urbaine
Star Work № 8: The Gates
Star Work № 7: Seestück II
Star Work № 6: Rhombus
Star Work № 5: Ausgewürfelte Bilder, 28 Bildmöglichkeiten
Star Work № 4: Veules-les-Roses
Star Work № 3: Regalfrau (Study)
Star Work № 2: Me Walking
Star Work № 1: Ein auf seinen Grundriss reduzierter Stein im Maßstab 1 : 1 / Berg aus Steinstaub