Dionysus in Basel

Luis Fernández-Galiano 

The very first work of H&deM was a suit. In Basel’s 1978 carnival, two young architects transformed their brass band march into an artistic action. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, both born in this city in the year 1950 and both graduates of Zurich’s ETH, where they studied under the Milanese Aldo Rossi, talked Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf into providing costumes for the 70 members of their group, and joining them in a festive parade over Feuerstätte 1, a controversial installation acquired from the artist by Basel’s museum of art. The remains of that action, which include bars of iron and copper and a large pile of felt suits, are now on display at that museum, under the name Feuerstätte 2: only ashes of an event, but one whose sparks put the conscience of the architects ablaze...

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