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  • Writer's pictureJoia Preciosa

Connecting with the Stars

Hannsjörg Voth is one of the pioneers of conceptual art and landscape art. After training as a commercial artist, he began his artistic work with screen printing and painting. In the mid-1970s, he produced his first landscape projects, which dealt with myths, archaism and decadence.

At the beginning of the 1980s, his major projects were created in the Moroccan desert, he built from 1980 to 2003 in the Marha plain in Morocco his very relevant works of land art: The Celestial Staircase, The Golden Spiral and The City of Orion.

"The celestial staircase", in which you can climb 52 steps to heaven.

With this staircase, he realized his dream: to connect the earth to the sky. Shaped like a right-angled triangle and 16 meters high, the staircase has 52 steps leading to a platform 4 meters below the top of the monument.

Passionate about astrophysics, Hannsjörg Voth made sure to narrow the side walls upwards, leaving a vertical slit in the middle and thus giving the building the appearance of a celestial observatory. Several rooms have been set up below the platform, in which Hannsjörg Voth lived and worked.

"The Golden Spiral", a fountain sculpture constructed from 9 quarter circles, is a spiral shape 260 meters long, up to 6 meters high. In the middle we see a well which symbolizes staying in the middle of the desert.

Hannsjörg Voth's Golden Spiral is inspired by one of the themes dear to architects since it is based on the "Fibonacci sequence", a mathematical series of sums in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers, and whose ratio tends towards the value of the Golden Ratio.

"The City of Orion", Third link in the magic triangle of the immense constructions of Hannsjörg Voth in the plain of Marha, the City of Orion is a breathtaking astral representation which draws its inspiration from the constructive genius of the kasbahs of the great South.

The artist's primary intention was to build on earth and in three dimensions a representation of the celestial constellation of Orion. The work thus appears in the form of seven large adobe observation towers, which represent the seven main stars of the constellation, and several smaller towers, which represent the less visible stars.

The positioning and dimensions of each element correspond to the position, clarity and size of the stars. a philosophical vision that connects the earth to the sky, and is based on astronomical calculations that allow the stars to be seen continuously throughout the year from the site carefully chosen to establish these landmarks.

Most of Voth's works are designed in such a way that sooner or later they fall prey to impermanence.

In the desert, there is an infinity where you have no distractions. I'm definitely working on it, but time is free. That's actually the beauty, you get very, very old there, because time no longer exists. » Hannsjörg Voth

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