Rudi Scholz’ Argonaut Frieze
The greatest artwork at home in Café Größenwahn is the frieze that runs round the restaurant between the line of mirrors and the wall paneling. Rudolf Scholz started it in 1987 and over the next 19 years it gradually grew to a total length of about 28 meters. Rudi chose “Argonaut Frieze” as his working title for the project – in the first section opposite the bar you can thus see Jason and the “Argo”, painted as young Jason in his tub with his toy boat. Along this painterly journey, and it meanders between the realms of the abstract and the figurative, Rudi has placed many themes from life, embodied here by many a different symbol: the hourglass, the candle, the jug, the ax, the fish, etc. We also encounter the poet Lenau, after whom the street outside is named, in the form of a quoted verse: “Perhaps the unexplored essence of our being is but a dark lien to the sharp eye in which two worlds wondrously intersect.” We see the Feigenbaum constants 4,699 from research into chaos theory, but with no decimal points as 4669. In the “Big Corner” the frieze is as good as complete – and the first few meters are also in place in the “Small Corner”. Whether it will ever be completed is a moot point, but it’s perfect even incomplete. Isn’t that a good symbol of Cafe Größenwahn itself? Having grown slowly, it is perfect in its incompleteness and is just about as old as the artwork is long (in meters).
In the 35-plus years of Cafe Größenwahn’s existence there have been countless interesting art projects involving, including, or featuring us, such as a video installation by Thomas Sterna made in 1997, in which portrait shots of
the Cafe Größenwahn crew are cropped and superimposed to create various persuasive effects. Or the Größenwahn film, realized by the same artist.
Größenwahn: der Film
Or Stefan Grunenberg’s adaptation of Picasso’s adaptations of Velazquez’ "Las Meninas" – transposed into the world of bars.
Or Jan Smejkal’s line of script running round the outside of the building and offering an artistic impression of the name Groessenwahn.