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Exhibition: 09.10.2022 - 26.03.2023

Mies was a form inventor, but even more than pure form, he explored the relationship between space and spirit. His monument projects, whether destroyed or never built, were groundbreaking designs that today are preserved only in image.

For the Elisenhöhe near Bingen, Mies designed a pillared hall in 1910 that encompassed an open space. His monument was to rise above vineyards as a memorial to Bismarck, who after his death in 1898 was transfigured into the mythical "supreme father of the nation. Schinkel's design for the Orianda Castle in the Crimea greets us from afar. Here, the "monument as palace" would have dominated the Rhine. 
For Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, Mies designed a block in the spring of 1926; no room, no shell, instead a massive sculpture of brick ashlars jutting back and forth in a garden landscape. He exaggerated the revolutionary monument into an abstract lectern from which the survivors were to honor the dead of the revolution and, as it were, point to the future. Between erratic monumentality and movement, Mies' rhythmic brick architecture thus became a "symbol of the masses."
Following the Bismarck Monument near Bingen and the massive body of the Revolution Monument in the Friedrichsfeld cemetery landscape, Mies designed an almost "empty space" within Schinkel's walls of the Neue Wache in 1930. Architecture and commemoration come together in Mies's design in front of bare walls, drawing the eye to the ancient cella, with its black granite victim and memorial block. 
In the intermediate realm of architecture and art, Mies made three proposals for modern memorial culture. With the palace, the block and the empty space, the architect specified spatial worlds of memory between personal and collective image-making.