John von Bergen awarded second prize in Kunst am Bau competition

"Wandlung" (© John von Bergen)

Director of Studio Arts John von Bergen was awarded the second prize in a Kunst am Bau (“Art in Architecture”) competition for the Deutscher Bundestag (German Federal Parliament) - Neustädtische Kirchstraße 4-5.

The anonymous and transparent competition invited artists and artist groups to submit concepts for a property with a changing history located in Mitte, Berlin which will become an office and administrative building of the Federal Parliament. 

Titled “Wandlung” (Transformation), von Bergen’s submission aimed to represent the different purposes and different nations in the building’s history through the continuous image of a dangling flag cast directly onto the exposed concrete visible throughout every floor. The flag’s fossilized effect proposes a literal historical context (as if a real object has left its timeless footprint into the concrete), and at the same time relates aesthetically to the World War II scars on the building’s exterior. 

While alluding to international relations without overstating didactic or timely references, von Bergen leaves enough space for interpretation and viewers can piece together a narrative depending on how they move through the space.

In their openly shared assessment, the jury praised the distinctive pictorial motif, the surrealistic features, and the balance between historical connotations and free association, all of which make von Bergen’s work a highly memorable one. 

The sixteen competing models will be exhibited from July 10th until July 28th, 2017 at the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning:
Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung
Straße des 17. Juni 112
10623 Berlin

More info about the competition 

Read the jury’s discussion of “Wandlung”