130627_Merz Pavilion summer school_

DIY 13: Architecture Workshop with Natasha Reid

Permanence, transience, resonance
Kurt Schwitters was an innovator in many art forms, but it is thought that through his architectural scale installations, the Merzbauten, he exerted his greatest influence on modern art and architecture.  Located at the site of the final Merzbau itself, we will explore themes of permanence and transience, aggregation and assemblage, production and destruction. The contradictory ephemerality and resonance of the legacy of the merzbauten will inform the development of a future temporary gallery and meeting space at the site, a Merzbau Pavilion.

Dwelling, exile, displacement
The workshop will explore concepts of dwelling, displacement and exile through the lens of Schwitters’ works, juxtaposed with contemporary projects dealing with narratives of refuge. Natasha Reid’s Embassy for Refugees pavilion, will be used as a live precedent for an experimental art/architecture project. Additionally, a wide range of contemporary themes and reinterpretations of Schwitters’ work will be explored. Through collaborations during the workshop and the wider summer school it is hoped that new contemporary threads emerge and intertwine as part of the Merzbau pavilion project.

Week 1 (22nd-28th July 2013): Initial Concepts & Exploratory Installations

Week 2 (29th July-4th Aug 2013): Prototypes & Architectural Fragments Workshop

3rd Aug 2013: Group session with guest architect, Anthony Hoete, Director of WHAT_Architecture

Schwitters coined the term Merz to describe this form of art which arranged the detritus of urban civilisation in a highly ordered composition.
Migrations exhibition, Tate Britain, 2012

Using the Merz approach we will creatively reuse found materials, transformed and given new qualities, through only simple low-tech processes. The research aims to produce a body of work upon which the designs for the temporary Merzbau Pavilion will be informed. The Merzbau Pavilion workshop is the first phase of a longer term architecture research project, aimed at the design and programming of a future Kurt Schwitters Merzbau museum.

Further details available here.

Words by Natasha Reid, DIY 12 and 13 resident

Images: Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau, Hanover 1933 and Natasha Reid, Embassy for Refugees Pavilion, Southbank London 2013