The Reconstruction of Kurt Schwitters' MERZ Building

Dr. Harald Szeemann writes *):

"... Ernst Schwitters had in the meantime accepted my suggestion of engaging Peter Bissegger to carry out the task. Ever since my exhibition 'Monte Verità', the stage designer had been my preferred model-builder. Peter Bissegger was the only person to whom I could have entrusted this reconstruction. Driven by his love of representational geometry and the fascinating problem of translating three photographs into three dimensions, he set to work on the project in the spring of 1981 with the full support of Ernst Schwitters and the Sprengel Museum in Hanover."

"...On 9 October 1981 a first report on the project appeared by Jörg Huber in ,Die Woche'. Peter Bissegger remarked: "The whole thing is unbelievably complex and it's a tremendous responsibility. We have to reconstruct a work of art, that is a spacial image, a spacial feeling, a whole optical system - and it must be accurate to the centimetre." And Ernst Schwitters, now utterly convinced: "A dream is being fulfilled."...

"...: The result is not merely a visual, but also a spacial experience of this monomaniac mixture of cathedral, cave, castle and ivory tower for its creator - an artist whose treatment of material and life-long interplay with serious problems has only today gained its proper recognition as a work of art and has become accepted by a wider public as something beautiful. The three years of hard work were all worth it in the end."

*) Harald Szeemann: The history of the MERZ Building Reconstruction