CRITICAL VOID (Heterotopia #130724)


Critical Void is an analytical audio work based on an urbanist study of the MaximiliansForum in Munich and its planning history. By employing interviews with key individuals and document research, Z‘EV, Alexandra von Bolz'n and Mark Kammerbauer developed a site-specific audio performance and work that was performed live on site on 24.07.2013. The project was curated by the Kulturreferat of the City of Munich. This is a step-by-step documentation of the project. The location that includes the MaximiliansForum art space can be found beneath the crossing of Maximilianstrasse and Altstadtring in Munich. It has escalators that are currently in disuse. It is denominated officially as pedestrian tunnel. It is by far the largest of its kind in the city. Rumor has that original planning intended a traffic tunnel. So, what happened here?
On Wednesday, 24.07.2013 at 19:00 we performed CRITICAL VOID live after a very friendly introduction by Elisabeth Hartung of the Culture Office of the City of Munich. The first half of the performance included a dramatized conversation between Alexandra von Bolz'n and MK on the results of the study with audio ambience by Z'EV. Here, we identify the planning crisis that took place. A tunnel was supposed to be built but conflicts emerged with regulations as well as public interest. Postwar traffic planning had resulted in a broad intersection in what had previously been an enclosed urban plaza (the original “Forum” above ground). In addition, urban revitalization aims led to affordable housing problems in the adjacent quarter (“Lehel”). One result was the creation of the “M√ľnchner Forum” where citizens became involved in urban planning in the city.
As result of these events, planning was confronted with crisis, and planning aims were discontinued, resulting in the ambiguous character of the open space beneath the street crossing. After dramatizing these aspects in the first half of the performance as a narrative “conversation”, the second half of the performance featured a performance of the crisis. This music piece is titled “MythEater” as inspired by Z'EV and includes an interpretation of “Yuki’s Song” from Akira Kurosawa’s film “Hidden Fortress” by vocalist Alexandra von Bolz'n. It is intended to symbolize the conflict between tradition and modernism as root of the crisis that gave birth to this CRITICAL VOID within the urban fabric of the city of Munich.

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