Design by: Arne Kaiser | Powered by: In [Re]action

Zip Zap Circus School (Dessau); Modell und Ruine, Werkleitz, 2019

“When you first mentioned the title of your exhibition Model and Ruin I immediately thought of Zip Zap Circus School. It is a cloth and wood model of a building that was never built. And, at the same time, as it is always destroyed at the end of an exhibition, it is also a ruin. It has no permanent manifestation, it remains a projected utopia that materializes every now and again in order to remind us of several issues. Its meaning is further propelled by the fact that the structure in itself is large and very visual, and yet it is by nature ephemeral, its materials are transparent and perishable. And further it is a huge structure on wheels so it has no permanent address, it always points to being moved in the landscape, or to being  transported or transferred somewhere else. This is the first time that the structure will engage with its inspiration coming from Mies van der Rohe and the vast modernist tradition. Mies’ failure to build his design for Kröller Müller reminds us that not all architectural projects get built. But the privilege of building a large one-to-one scale model is unique to the rich continent of Europe. That African project on the other hand was all about a building that was needed and desired but could not be achieved for lack of funding. It is the tension between these two utopias that interest me in rebuilding Zip Zap Circus school in Dessau. It will be an unusual situation where Mies failure is faced with Pancho failure and  hopefully will make us think about utopia in a more complex way.”

Extract of interview: Ângela Ferreira and Alexander Klose

Images: Matthias Knoch