The research on the implications of the film Olympia II, Celebration of Beauty directed by Leni Riefenstahl and its connection to the Mass Ornament as defined by Siegfried Kracauer is driven by an intense belief that the technology developed before the Second World War in terms of representation repetition and materiality has survived its time in architecture. The Modern Movement and its after World War II successors have been the bearers to our time of this film’s exemplary technology aesthetics and meaning. The space making propaganda mechanisms and techniques in Nazi Germany have established their place and survived their time in architectural representation as a result of the extensive emigration of German–European architect Mies van der Rohe and other intellectuals to the west after World War II.
The film Olympia II, Celebration of Beauty by Leni Riefenstahl depicts in consecutive fractal extracts the story of the 1936 Olympic Games, which took place in Berlin. Olympia reconstructs Nazi space in time and forms a paragon of Nazi international propaganda in an impeccable aesthetic and style that originates from ancient Greek surviving predominating ideals.
A few years earlier Siegfried Kracauer in The Mass Ornament analyzed characteristic examples of the emerging mass culture of the modern era. In the exact same context of propaganda and mass psychology Leni Riefenstahl creates an idealized architectural propaganda space of persuasion, filming events and bodies as architectural phenomena in a neo-classical stone background. The film of the 1936 Olympics is indeed the outcome of the interaction of power, architecture, media, beauty and aesthetics in the western culture.
|Keywords:||Propaganda, Repetition, Mass Ornament, Body Culture, Representation|
Architect, Doctorate Candidate, Architecture School, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Architect, NTUA, University of California Los Angeles, Greece