Roger Wagner, Sieglar-96-09-21, 1996
Chromogenic print, diasec, 165 × 200 cm

20.01.–28.02.2016

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, edited version)

STAR WORK
Within the Star Work series a different artwork from the IKOB Collection is displayed each time.

Star Work № 6: Rhombus


Star Work № 5: Ausgewürfelte Bilder, 28 Bildmöglichkeiten


Star Work № 4: Veules-les-Roses


Star Work № 3: Regalfrau


Star Work № 2: Me Walking


Star Work № 8: The Gates


Star Work № 10: Geschlossene Scheune


Star Work № 9: Poésie urbaine


Star Work № 7: Seestück II


Star Work № 11: Composition


Star Work № 12: Untitled


Star Work № 13: LBYD/SOI


Star Work № 1: Ein auf seinen Grundriss reduzierter Stein im Maßstab 1 : 1 / Berg aus Steinstaub


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