Olympia

David Claerbout
September 11, 2016 – May 28, 2017

Olympia (The Real-Time Disintegration into Ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadium over the Course of a Thousand Years), 2016

Two-channel video installation (color, silent, HD animation)
Duration 1000 years


Photo © David Claerbout, VG BILD-KUNST

Olympia (The Real-Time Disintegration into Ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadium over the Course of a Thousand Years), 2016

Two-channel video installation (color, silent, HD animation)
Duration 1000 years


Photo © David Claerbout, VG BILD-KUNST

Olympia (The Real-Time Disintegration into Ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadium over the Course of a Thousand Years), 2016

Two-channel video installation (color, silent, HD animation)
Duration 1000 years


Photo © David Claerbout, VG BILD-KUNST

Olympia (The Real-Time Disintegration into Ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadium over the Course of a Thousand Years), 2016

Two-channel video installation (color, silent, HD animation)
Duration 1000 years


Photo © David Claerbout, VG BILD-KUNST

Olympia

David Claerbout
KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin
September 11, 2016 – May 28, 2017
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Despite its hyper-realistic appearance, Olympia (The Real-Time Disintegration into Ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadium over the Course of a Thousand Years) is not a film shot on location. Berlin’s Olympiastadion—originally constructed by architects Werner and Walter March for the 1936 Summer Olympics—and its environ have been digitally reproduced by David Claerbout. Using video game technology, the artist has created a virtual world emptied of all life forms.

 

The installation consists of a double-screen projection. The main horizontal one shows an elliptical movement of the virtual camera around the main areas of the stadium (passageways, arena, etc.), whilst the second—vertical—screen focuses on details (sculptures of athletes, building’s ornaments, landscape, etc.).

 

The real-time video projection is meant to last 1,000 years and show the progressive and inexorable deterioration of the monument, as a reference to the “Thousand-Year Reich”—Hitler’s wish that the Third Reich would last for a millennium—and Albert Speer’s theory of “Ruin Value” [Ruinenwerttheorie]: the purpose of a building is to transmit its time and spirit to posterity.

 

The decay of the building will only be influenced by nature. The project incorporates both current weather data and the sun’s position in Berlin, as well as a thousand-year-old vegetative and architectural programmed development. This algorithmically calculated process generates daily new images of growths and decay.

 

David Claerbout’s studio will program and build the first 25 years, after which another studio will have to take over.

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