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Mario Merz: Fibonacci Sequence, 2000

Fibonacci-Reihe, 2000

The "Fibonacci Sequence" by Italian artist Mario Merz (1925-2003) stands out from all other installations that can be seen in the Center for International Light Art: it is installed outside of the museum on the former Linden Brewery’s chimney, from where the fluorescent numerals can be spotted clearly, and from a long distance.

Merz found his source of inspiration in the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical row of numbers which – the following number is always added up to the former one - continues into the infinite (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 ....). Since 1972, Merz involved this sequence in his work again and again, including installations, sculptures and paintings.

The installation, applied to the chimney of the industrial landmark, certainly is his biggest and most well-known work with this sequence of numbers: 16 numbers, made in the artist’s handwriting, and mounted on the 52 meter high tower, are shining with a bright blue light into the sky. The number sequence is limited by the height of the chimney, and yet the viewer is inclined to continue the series in his mind, in which he will not succeed. Thus the work of Mario Merz embodies two opposing philosophical thoughts: nature on the one hand and the human desire for order, limitation and perfection on the other.