Sagar, D., 2016.
Merz Bau Rural Studio
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Kurt Schwitters &The Merz Barn :- In 1945 Kurt Schwitters moved to the Lake District and began work on his final Merzbau, partially funded by MOMA in New York. The Merz Barn was left untouched until Richard Hamilton undertook the task of preserving the main installation by moving it to the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle. The Littoral Trust is working to restore the Merz Barn and the associated buildings on the Cylinder estate site with hope to open the whole site to the public.
The research proposal is to further develop the already established relationship with The Merz Barn and the Littoral Trust. The vision is to formalise this relationship, as a faculty wide resource and work with the various organisations, partners and funders involved, to establish a rural studio, a rural zone of experimentation for design and research led projects, combined with fabrication and ultimately the realisation of the whole scheme. The output being to establish MMU as a key member of the custodians of the Merz Bau & the Kurt Schwitters legacy in England and to become partners in the delivery of the proposed 75th anniversary celebrations in 2021/22.
The author, as part of his research, is currently developing ideas and undertaking drawings, models and a full feasibility study to be shown at the planned exhibitions leading up to the 75th anniversary along with a pavilion to show the works. Also further delivering workshops, symposiums at the site and publishing articles and further attendance at The Merz North collective network conferences.
The Trust is currently involved in an international fundraising campaign to complete the restoration work on the Merz Barn site, [already support from the Art world and architecture, Rem Koolhaus, Zaha Hadid, Damien Hurst etc] and to create an endowment fund to support future capital works, public, educational and artistic programmes.
The aim is to reinforce collaborations, in cross cultural events, pulling all the research threads together as a working data base for further funding for projects, research and development of digital and physical infrastructures as part of 75th anniversary legacy and celebration events.
Building on the successful works already achieved across the world, reaching out on an international level telling the story of Da Da, the expulsion and migration of 'Degenerate' artists from Germany, with a focus on the Merz barn and Kurt Schwitters.