This intervention invites visitors to take part in a patience exercise: balancing a raw egg in front of Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie, the city’s temple of modernism. The performance will take place on one of the countless flat surfaces surrounding the Nationalgalerie, and those participating in the piece will try to balance a raw egg so that it stands upright.
As a significant symbol of the work of Mies van der Rohe, expressing the spirit of modernism in architecture, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin focuses on clarity, simplicity, and a reduction to the essential. Van der Rohe’s design seeks to join the exterior and the interior space and eliminate the barrier between art and community. It is here, around the external perimeter of the Neue Nationalgalerie, the border theoretically erased by the building’s design, that this intervention takes place.
This egg performance will be a social balancing act between standing up and collapsing – a constant rise and fall, figuratively speaking. Successfully balancing the egg requires steady and persistent concentration, a calm hand, great patience, and an understanding of the complex architecture of the egg. Each participant assumes a role in the balance of the two opposite movements of modernism in architecture: orthogonal versus organic architecture. The balancing of the egg goes beyond an engagement with Van der Rohe’s structure itself, representing the act of building up a well-balanced community.
Photo 2 + 5 by Yukiko Nagakura