Arch II (1999)

Simon Barley at work on Arch II (1999)
S300880 / Bambuco Archive

The installation at the Performing Arts Market in Adelaide had led to an invitation for Bambuco to participate in the Theater der Welt festival in Berlin in 1999. Maria Magdalena Schwaegermann, the director of the festival, wanted a Bambuco structure because it was so innovative — she had not seen anything like it anywhere in the world.
                Bambuco obtained grants from Australia Council and Arts Victoria to cover travel expenses to build Arch II at Theater der Welt. They consolidated their knowledge and expertise gained from building Arch I and improved the joining technique by using straps as well as cords. With the employment of additional German rock climbers to join the crew of Australians and Filipinos, the construction proceeded smoothly and quickly.

Bambuco crew at the top of Arch II (1999)
S300960 / Bambuco Archive

For the last night of the festival a Cirque De Soleil performer was enlisted, unofficially, to perform her routine with a length of silk from the top of the 30 metre structure. Although unplanned, the performance was highly successful. Deconstruction of Arch II also took place during the festival, as it was a significant part of the performance. Bambuco received high acclaim from international arts festival directors, art critics and the media.

“Bambuco began with a stubborn determination to prove that it was possible to build a thirty-metre-tall arch made from bamboo held together with rope and to show that the process of construction could be seen as performance art. It took three attempts.

The surprise was not that it could, finally, be achieved in Berlin. Instead it was the discovery of the tangible empty space on the Schlossplatz the day after the arch had suddenly disappeared from the site.” Simon Barley

Construction of Arch II (1999)
S300911 / Bambuco Archive

Arch II, Theater der Welt, Berlin (1999)
S301185 / Bambuco Archive