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


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 № 29 The Crucifixion

Star Work № 28: Distortion LI [51]

Star Work № 27: Hommage à ... IV

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 № 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