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Architecture as Multimedia. Jean Nouvel, the DR Concert Hall, and the Gesamtkunstwerk

Authors
Publisher
Nordic Society of Aesthetics
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Musicology

Abstract

The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics No. 36–37 (2008/2009), pp. 81–101 Architecture as Multimedia Jean Nouvel, the DR Concert Hall, and the Gesamtkunstwerk Anders V. Munch Only that art-variety, however, which wills the common artwork, reaches there with the highest fill of its own particular nature. richard wagner You do not have to move around much in cultural life these days before you experience many different attempts to combine art forms and create a total experience – total art. Often, though, such attempts are based only on the vague idea that if we gather a lot of stuff together – music with images, dance, film, architecture, etc. – something fantastic will probably come out of it; a new totality must arise that is greater than the sum of its parts and encompasses us in a new way. At least that is the idea. However, this is a derangement of the senses which is rarely based on any articulated or reasoned relationship among the arts, between seem- ing and reality. A lot of things are being proclaimed as Gesamtkunstwerke at present, but few of them relate to the actual problems of this tradition, which ranges back through the experimental art forms of the avant-garde to Richard Wagner’s still controversial music dramas. The composer him- self imagined an artwork of the future, a Gesamtkunstwerk that realized all the potentials of the individual arts by uniting them on the stage and conjuring up a new reality for the senses. Ever since, this dream of the unifying and boundary-transcending artwork has haunted the arts, film and multimedia. The architect Jean Nouvel makes no great claim to have created total art. In many of his buildings, though, he has investigated the relation- ship between architecture and various other arts and media in ways that still make it useful to see him in the light of the tradition of Wagner. A quite obvious example is his DR Concert Hall for the Danish broadcast- ing corporation in Cope

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