The second life of rubble. Time and matter in Anselm Kiefer’s towers




rubble, ruins, memories, matter, tower


The Seven Heavenly Palaces (Milan, 2004) is one of the most impressive installations bearing the signature of the German artist Anselm Kiefer. The work consists of seven towers – erected in the former industrial space of the Pirelli Hangar in Milan – and uses the archetype of vertical construction, as a number of other Kiefer’s works do. The artist reinterprets and reiterates the theme of the tower on several occasions, charging it with complex symbolic meanings. His installations – alienating scenarios in which visitors can deep in his creative universe – rely on an act that is not necessarily artistic: the act of building. This is the starting point of this paper, which aims to analyse the Milanese installation from a semantic perspective, especially highlighting its spatial value. Kiefer’s work leads to considerations on the meaning that building and destroying have in contemporary society and prefigures a new life for those fragments whose disposal is the only aspect we are interested in: rubble.


Art | Essays & Viewpoint

pp. 244-257


Vanessa Mingozzi

Author(s) Biography

Vanessa Mingozzi is an Architectural Engineer and PhD Candidate at University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy). Her studies focus on reciprocal influences between site-specific art and architecture and on contemporary design approaches for archaeological sites. Mob. +39 339/6110 793 | E-mail: mingozzi.vanessa@gmail.com


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