Gerd Burla planned for James Turrell the projects “Light Art by James Turrell: Architectural design of land art exhibitions of ‘Irish Skygarden’ in Skibbereen and ‘Roden Crater’ in Arizona” as well as several Light Spaces exhibited in Zurich, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hannover and London. In his lecture, Burla will present the Roden Crater, shown on original plans. The Roden Crater is a natural cinder volcano situated on the southwestern edge of the Painted Desert in Northern Arizona. Since 1972 James Turrell has been transforming the crater into a large-scale artwork that relates, through the medium of light, to the universe of the surrounding sky, land and culture. Monumental in scale and conception, the Roden Crater is not a monument in any traditional sense. It does not commemorate historical facts or achievements nor is its exterior form even distinct from its natural surroundings. Rather, harnessing the drama of light, landscape and celestial events, disturbing and awakening our subjective understanding of the universe, Turrell’s crater is a monument to human perception itself, without which cultural history or achievement would not be possible. “It is a volcanic crater located in an area of exposed geology, the Painted Desert, an area where you feel geologic time. You have a strong feeling of standing on the surface of the planet.”—James Turrell
Gerd Burla is Director of Architectural Design at Retailpartners Wetzikon and Consulting Director 3D at Interbrand. In addition to numerous distinguished projects designed by his Studio, he developed for Interbrand Corporate Architecture and Corporate Interior Design for major companies including BMW, Deutsche Telekom, Porsche, Lufthansa and Pirelli.