osa / MERZEN
Installation at the CUBE Gallery
Manchester / United Kingdom 2011
osa_office for subversive architecture
Client: CUBE Gallery Manchester
Team: Anja Ohliger, Karsten Huneck, Bernd Trümpler, Robin Turner
Based on the reflection of the work of artist Kurt Schwitters, an accessible and tangible installation had been created The project refers to Schwitters own collage technique which he called “Merz”, a method of rearranging collected objects such as papers, timber, wire, text snippets and paint.
The gallery space was transformed by using materials collected and provided by the city of Manchester, with the aim to blur the border between existing space and installation i.e. frame and content. As with city development itself, the idea deals with the transformation process of the materials through the application within the installation as well as (the transformation) of the whole (overall system) as a reaction of addition and overwriting.
This leads to a deliberate context displacement. The installation has grown in three stages and the visitors were encouraged to become part of the development process by bringing their own collected materials of the build environment into the gallery.
Parts of the gallery space has been turned into a material store which not only acts as a collection point for the different ingredients of the installation, but also links back to the former function of the building (warehouse). As within the contemporary pluralistic city (CPC), existing relationships have been shifted through continuous surprising and unexpected interrelations of the single elements as well as and new ones have been uncovered; without a descriptive manual.
“Merz is sensing without knowing”, Kurt Schwitters, 1920