The Image of Europe

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March-April  2006, Vienna, Austria

Austria’s Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel opened ‘The Image of Europe’ exhibition at the Heldenplatz in Vienna on Monday, 8 May 2006.  Austria held the presidency of the European Union for the first semester of 2006.
For this occasion the Austrian government decided to take the exhibition  ‘The image of Europe’, an exhibition that provides a history of European political representation, diagrams Europe’s political current structure and speculates on its possible future. It was developed by OMA/AMO in 2004.
STAR was commissioned to update, correct and extend “The image of Europe” for the exhibition in Vienna in May 2006. STAR realized the Panorama on the History of European Union and the ’25 x 25 series’, a new contribution to ‘The image of Europe’.

From OMA site:
The exhibition is housed in a tent in the colors of the official logo of the Austrian Presidency. It will be open to visitors till 2nd July from 9.00 till 19.00 every day, with free entrance.
The exhibition is centered on two mural collages, created by the think-tank AMO, that give an overview of the history of the European continent from the time of the dinosaurs to modern civilization and present the history of the EU since the Second World War, as well as visions of the future of the Union. A special ‘EU passport’ serves as a guide to the exhibition.
The Heldenplatz square in Vienna is the second station of this Europe exhibition, which was conceived by Rem Koolhaas with the help of his think tank AMO and has now been brought to Vienna for the Austrian Presidency.

Tent at Helden Platz
Das Bild Europas – The Image of Europe
EU History Panorama – For OMA/AMO
Solo Exhibition
Vienna, Austria
May 8 – July 2, 2006

The Image of Europe
(From OMA’s website)
The exhibition is centred on two mural collages that give an overview of the history of the European continent from the time of the dinosaurs to modern civilization and present the history of the EU since the Second World War, as well as visions of the future of the Union. A special ‘EU passport’ serves as a guide to the exhibition.
The Heldenplatz square in Vienna is the second station of this Europe exhibition, which was conceived by Rem Koolhaas with the help of his think tank AMO and has now been brought to Vienna for the Austrian Presidency.

The Image of Europe 2004
 The creation of the European Union will ultimately be recorded as one of history’s quietest revolutions. Europe’s reticence has clearly had its benefits: the European Union has already – without funfair or retribution – become the largest economy on earth, its population nearing 500 million – almost twice that of the world’s last remaining ‘super power.’ But increasingly, as the EU grows in size and importance, the ineffectiveness of its communication is proving to be a serious political liability that weakens its external manifestations and has unnecessarily eroded its internal support. To mark the occasion of the Netherlands’s 2004 Presidency of the European Union, AMO was asked by the European Commission to create an exhibition in Brussels (which then travelled to Munich and Vienna), “The Image of Europe” celebrating an end to the EU’s inhibited iconography, its coming out…

On two panoramic murals – concentric circles of 60 and 80 meters in length – the evolution of “Europe”, as a concept, identity, and political reality, is sketched. The inner ring presents the history of Europe, from continental drift to the Madrid bombing, as an accelerating sequence that gradually gains detail as it approaches the present. Beginning as a sparsely populated archipelago, the pivotal moments of early development – the age of the dinosaur, the Neanderthal, Ancient Greece, Rome – inhabit discreet islands. Arrows indicate the critical interactions with the outside world, particularly with Africa and Asia, that enriched Europe’s early civilizations. From there the history plots a cyclical alternation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, idealism and zealotry, through the spread of Christianity, the emergence of modernity, the rise of colonialism and industrialization, nationalism, and eventually the catastrophic violence of the 20th century. Our current moment of uncertainty, affluence, and opportunity provides a provisional climax. The complexities of Europe’s past provide a tumultuous foreground against which the outer ring narrates the history of European integration. Starting shortly after World War Two, the story of the European Union – its watersheds and breakdowns, heroes and villains – is, for once, boldly declared. The outer ring attempts to undo 50 years of calculated quiet by turning the EU’s non-events into celebrations, its nobodies into heroes, its drabness into grandeur. The story closes somewhere in the 2020s, in a speculative conclusion on Europe’s possible future(s).

‘The Image of Europe’ is at once a celebration of the European Union’s accomplishments and an exploration into the EU’s enormous untapped potential. It marks a new stage in Europe’s evolution – a denial of understatement in favor of inspiration and engagement. From now on the EU will be bold, explicit, popular…








Opening of the exhibition, all images © STAR

Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf


25×25
They are 25 examples out of an endless book of comparison. They underline the real strength of the European Union’s undeniable non-homogeneity that is in truth a healthy diversity which leads to a peaceful and friendly competition in all fields.
The size of a country or amount of inhabitants does not matter, what counts is the inherent competitiveness between this European players that makes the team as a whole just better, more effective and inclusive, to become even more competitive on a global scale. The European Union as institution could be described as the coach of this dream-team, that counts the points, compares the results, gives tips how to perform better and if it is needed prescribes one of the allowed doping medicines.









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The Image of Europe
Project name: The Image of Europe – Das Bild Europas
Date: March-April 2006
Type: Commissioned study and exhibition
Location: Vienna, Austria
Site: Heldenplatz – Helden Square
Programme: An exhibition that provides a history of European political representation, diagram’s Europe political current structure and speculates on it possible futures.
Surface: 640 m² (8 m x 80 m)
Status: Realized
Client: OMA/AMO for Austrian European Presidency 2006
Budget: Confidential
Publications:
-SHD Super Holland design by ACTAR, Barcelona, Spain /New York, USA, November 2007
-032c #11, Germany, May 06
-Architektur #06, Austria, May 2006
Exhibitions:
-Tent at Helden Platz, Vienna, Austria, May 8 – July 2, 2006
-RAS, Gallery from ACTAR, Barcelona, Spain – February 15 – April 5, 2008
STAR Team: Beatriz Ramo, Theo Deutinger, Andreas Kofler, Bernd Upmeyer, Frank Rödiger
(2004= Sebastian Koch, William Todd Reisz, Nanne de Ru, Jared Serwer, Amelia Stephenson)
Credits:
Conception: Rem Koolhaas & Reinier de Graaf.
Exhibition design: Jens Hommert. AMO/OMA
History of European Union: Beatriz Ramo, Theo Deutinger, Andreas Kofler, Bernd Upmeyer, Frank Rödiger (2004= Sebastian Koch, William Todd Reisz, Nanne de Ru, Jared Serwer, Amelia Stephenson)
History of Europe: Brendan McGetrick, Jeroen Koolhaas, Samir Bantal, Lok Jansen, Afaina de Jong, Richard Wang, Stephen Wang Jeroen, Wijering Floris Zegwaard
25 x 25: Beatriz Ramo, Theo Deutinger, Andreas Kofler, Bernd Upmeyer, Frank Rödiger (2004= Margaret Arbanas, Ademide Adelusi Adeluyi, Gjergj Bakallbashi, Simon Demeuse, Jason Long, William Millard)
Foreign Policy Centre: Mark Leonard, Greg Austin, Richard Gowan, Martina Rydman
Collaborators:
Advisors:  Michael Wintle, Universiteit van Amsterdam, James Kennedy, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Graphic design:  Irma Boom
Tent: Pammy Boltini, Hans Martens
Contractor: Christoph van Damme