Monday, 24 October 2016

Elizabeth Lennard + Gray

'Talking House' is a 40-minute montage of Villa E-1027, the iconic modernist villa built by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici on the Cote d’Azur in 1929. Filmed today, and using Eileen Gray’s 1929 photographs of the villa and recently restored Le Corbusier film footage, the camera takes us through E-1027 as the couple talks and argues off screen about the design philosophy behind the breakthrough layout, interiors and furniture. Heated correspondence between Corbu (Le Corbusier) and Bado (Badovici) adds a bit of controversy over the later addition of Corbu’s wall paintings.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Brian Jungen + Safdie

Brian Jungen / HABITAT 04, cité radieuse des chat, 2004

Brian Jungen is interested in hybrid combinations and eclectic mixes from different cultures. He creates interfaces between distinct universes so apart that they collide while delivering a critical message. Themes such as: ecology, anthropology, ethnology or mythology is the most recurrent in his work. Sociological archetypes, such as mass culture and pre-fabricated materials are sources of inspiration as well.
Again, two worlds are juxtaposed in the artwork installed at the Darling Foundry: an ideal city for cats, based on the plans of Habitat 67'. Inspired by Le Corbusier's Radiant City, which prioritized esthetical standardization "for more harmony", Moshe Safdie conceived and realized Habitat 67 at the age of 23. His principle, based on assembling pre-fabricated concrete modules, makes it mass production architecture, closely associated with the ideals of community and equality. Paradoxically, Habitat 67 today has become one the most expensive lodgings in Montreal.
Inside a variation on this structure, Jungen will introduce orphaned and abandoned cats. The artist has created for them a genuine luxurious city, made with inter locked modules. By doing so, each cat that is part of Habitat 04 becomes imbued with all the impetus of Brian Jungen's name in today's modern art world. As Kitty Scott, curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada explains: "In offering a version of the complex to the disenfranchised cats, the artist appears to be salvaging something of Safdie's original plan".
The artist goes beyond simple compassion by associating with the SPCA, whose reputation as an animal protection organization is known by all, to create an adoption mechanism. The project is inspired by "The Cat's Sanctuary", on Ottawa's Parliamentary Hill, where volunteers have erected a shelter for homeless cats. By adding this ethical dimension to his work, Jungen once again demonstrates his belief in an engage art that goes beyond the boundaries of the exhibition. Herein lies the true meaning of his living installation. Much more than an exhibition, the artist has envisioned Habitat 04 as a way to support the SPCA's cause, a cause that he, as well as his entire body of work embraces totally.
12 February 2004

Dear Brian,
As you are well aware, I am writing this letter before the project for the Quartier Ephémère has been fully realized. Josée St-Louis, the Head of Programming, forwarded a copy of your proposal and the gallery's press release. I would have liked to have spoken with you more about the proposal, but given our current schedules this has been next to impossible. What follows are my thoughts on such a project.
As I understand it, you are transforming Quartier Ephémère into a temporary satellite of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for the duration of what was to be an exhibition. The gallery space will contain an enclosure housing three cats and a volunteer from the SPCA will be on site at all times. A respectful sculptural interpretation of Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67, modelled out of cat furniture, will be displayed within the enclosure. By cat furniture, I mean those vertical towers consisting of carpet covered scratching posts supporting inhabitable boxes, trays and cylinders. I imagine the new cat-friendly Habitat '04, a spin on pet paraphernalia designed to achieve maximum feline happiness, will offer the confined animals a humane and attractive backdrop providing of hours fun.
Rather than treat this situation as an exhibition, you have conceived of it as a mechanism in support of the mandate of the SPCA. To this end all publicity will be directed towards finding permanent homes for these homeless animals. There will be no opening, as this type of art world event would presumably make the cats nervous. Thank you, by the way, for the invitation to attend the fundraising dinner for the SPCA. I am honoured to be invited and graciously accept.
I have always loved Safdie's iconic modular building. When Safdie was designing Habitat, his intention was to make affordable, community-oriented, mass-produced housing using a pre-fabrication process. However, the units were very expensive to produce and paradoxically, Habitat is now an exclusive condo-community. In offering a version of the complex to the disenfranchised cats you appear to be salvaging something of Safdie's original plan.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have homeless cats and the SPCA. Both have a direct relation to your interest in labour and the consequences of mass production. The SPCA, originally a British institution, was founded, in part, to protect working animals during a period of increasing industrialization. With a little research I learned that the Montrealers who imported the concept in 1869 and founded what was then known as the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, were mostly concerned with the conditions of Montreal workhorses. I was surprised to find out that the formation of the RSPCA in England in 1824 predated the founding of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1884 and that both institutions have a shared history.
One of the primary reasons the SPCA concerns itself with the welfare of cats today is that the supply far outweighs the demand. In this situation the institution functions as a feline halfway house between life and death. One of the SPCA's goals is to find prospective homes for cats. Sadly, the remaining cats that do not find homes are put down. As I understand your proposed scenario, the cats brought to Quartier Ephémère will remain there until adopted and new cats will replace those that leave. Effectively, this means you are extending the lives of a number of cats and for those that find homes, you are giving the gift of life.
Your proposition is worthy enough. Still, I cannot escape the art context and the value of your increasing fame within this system. For every cat passing through the Safdie inspired compound becomes a ready-made imbued with all the worth your name signifies in the current art world. In other words, the value-added cat becomes a Jungen artwork, or perhaps "multiple" is a better word. Such signification will hopefully increase the chances a cat will be "collected" and thus survive.
I wish you every success with this ambitious project and look forward to seeing it.
Sincerely yours, Kitty

Kitty Scott is Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Jill Magid + Barragán

The Barragán Archives

The Barragán Archives is an extended, multimedia project examining of the legacy of Mexican architect and Pritzker Prize-winner Luis Barragán (1902–1988). Magid considers both Barragán's professional and personal archives, and how the intersections of his official and private selves reveal divergent and aligned interests, as well as those of the institutions that have become the archives' guardians.

Along with the vast majority of his architecture, Barragán's personal archive remains in Mexico while his professional archive, including the rights to the architect's name and work, were acquired in 1995 by Swiss furniture company Vitra, under the auspices of the newly founded Barragan Foundation. By developing long-term relationships with various personal, governmental, and corporate entities, Magid explores the intersection of the psychological with the judicial, national identity and repatriation, international property rights and copyright law, authorship and ownership.

The project is ongoing and results in a series of objects, installations and performances. Exhibitions of the project exist as opportunities to push the narrative forward, and reflects —within the work— the legal parameters of the country in which they are shown.

David Maljkovic + Sambito

Lost Memories From These Days, 2006
video/ dvd One channel video and sound installation
Edition of 5
6.44 minutes

David Maljković + Bakic

David Maljkovic
Scene for a New Heritage, 2004
Image courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam

Croatian-artist David Maljkovic’s epic film series Scene for New Heritage Trilogy presents a futuristic world set in the year 2045. Shot over three years spanning 2004 - 2006, the first film focuses on a group of travellers visiting a memorial park, erected in Petrova Gora, Croatia, for victims of the Second World War under the Communist government of Yugoslavia. As they visit the monument, debate is sparked as to its long-forgotten meaning - it means nothing to them, just as their strange dialect is alien to us.  The second film, set 20 years later, features a young boy approaching and looking out from the monument's tower to an empty snow-filled landscape, as if on some spiritual pilgrimage. The third and final film depicts young teenagers milling aimlessly around the central tower; talking, playing and walking around the derelict monument.
Amid the desolate landscape, this bastion to 20th Century history has become a folk tale for the visitors, its raw concrete structure an empty shell offering no indication of the brutality it represents. The film invites viewers to travel through time to discover the artist's vision of the future and look at how the meaning of history and monuments changes from one era to the next. The film’s powerful subject matter comes from the artist's own memories of obligatory visits under the Communist regime.

Andreas Bunte + Lasdun

Stills from New University, 2010
16mm film, b/w, silent, 7:26 min.

Beton, 2010
two 16mm films and framed paper collages
During the early 1960’s a number of new universities were founded in England. Each of them set out to subject the traditional concepts of teaching and organisation – of the educational institution as a whole – to a severe amount of reformation and experiment. It was a shared believe  at the time that the new ideas and programmes had to be embodied in an entirely new kind of campus architecture which should bring forth not only academically mature, but also socially better adjusted citizens and create a new sense of community.

Andreas Bunte’s b/w 16mm film „New University“, 2010, documents a key example of this type of Postwar University Architecture, the University of East Anglia, designed by Denys Lasdun. A series of static shots exposes empty walkways, staircases, lecture theatres, halls of residence, etc. The campus seems completely deserted, an impression that is increased by the aged concrete which is omnipresent in every part of the site. Bunte left his footage to be a mostly uncut document of his exploration of the campus.

The second 16mm film, „Normbewegungen“, 2010, stages a selection of simple body movements in front of a measuring grid as used in photogrammetry. The ususal purpose of this set-up is to measure the exact dimensions of space required for the execution of a particular movement. Here, a chart of movement measurements found in a publication on norms and regulations for university construction served Bunte as a storyboard for the postures in his film. The crude choreography of banal activities recalls ideas of staging the movements of everyday life as in Postmodern Dance.

In the collages the artist uses pages from architecture magazines and publications on construction engineering. Bold prints of text fragments, invented diagram drawings and simple colour fields made from filter foil are added to them. The paper works are presented in frames alluding to standardised clip frames one might find in students’ homes and function like externalised intertitles commenting on the film.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

William Robinson + Affleck, Sise, Dimakopoulos

Brutalist Song I (Confederation Centre of the Arts)

6 inkjets on paper, 2 audio recordings, 2 printed booklets, 1 display table, 2 pairs of headphones, 2 audio players
Each print: 92 x 62 cm
Each booklet: 27.9 x 21.6 cm
Art Gallery Pavilion Composition Audio Recording: 6 min 33 sec, Theatre Pavilion Composition Audio Recording: 4 min 14 sec
Rock Show: At the Intersection of Art + Music, AGNS (Halifax NS), Curated by David Diviney
Brutalist Song I (Confederation Centre of the Arts) attempts to reinterpret and convey the historically concrete and constructed austere physical records of the Confederation Centre of the Arts’ Theatre and Art Gallery Pavilions through the emotive and ephemeral medium of music and related art objects.
Co-composers: Ryan Veltmeyer & Thomas Hoy
Audio production: Joel Waddell

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Victor Burgin + Mies van der Rohe

Victor Burgin, Prairie, 2015

November 20, 2015 – January 29, 2016
Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Prairie is a new digital projection work by Victor Burgin, created as part of Overlay, a collaborative research project undertaken this year by Burgin and D. N. Rodowick with the support of the University of Chicago’s Gray Center For Arts and Inquiry. Overlay focused on the history of “The Mecca” apartment building, built in 1892 and demolished sixty years later as part of the expansion of the Illinois Institute of Design under the plan of Mies van der Rohe, whose Crown Hall now occupies its former site. As in Burgin's recent works, A Place to Read, focused on an Istanbul coffee house by Sedad Haki Eldem, and Mirror Lake, which turns around the Wisconsin “Seth Peterson Cottage” by Frank Lloyd Wright, Prairie responds to specific architectural sites (here, The Mecca and Crown Hall) and explores erased or disappeared cultural histories, real and/or imagined, inscribed in the built environment.
Presented as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Blaise Drummond + Le Corbusier

Gewaltige Raume Unerschlossenen Landes
Oil & Collage on Canvas
162 x 213 cm

In Fields, Meadows, Fallows and Walls2006
Oil , Acrylic & Veneer on Canvas
127 x 167.5 cm

Blaise Drummond + Mies van der Rohe

Krefeld (The Spatially Apprehended Will of the Epoch)
Oil & Collage on Canvas
162 x 213 cm

Lewis Mumford Says (No_2)
Oil, Gloss & Ink on canvas
168 x 142 cm

 Lewis Mumford Says
Oil, Gloss & Ink on canvas
167 x 126 cm

Josephine Meckseper + Mies van der Rohe

Her works are placed throughout the museum on a subtle arc that begins in the outdoor gallery with two vitrines—inspired in part by Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. The contents contained within—original sculpture and mass-produced objects—might be construed as fine art or consumer goods.

Sanja Iveković + Mies van der Rohe

Sanja Iveković, Monument to Revolution (After Mies), 2014. Proposal sketch.

Sanja Iveković has been conceiving and executing projects for the public sphere since the 1970s. A recurrent theme of her work involves the forms and context of official memory cultures. With her proposal to reconstruct Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1926 “Monument to the November Revolution” for Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and the revolutionaries of the workers’ movement from today’s vantage point, Iveković challenges the dominant politics of remembrance and harks back to the monument’s heavily contested history, echoes of which could be heard long after the monument was destroyed in 1933.
Iveković’s project Monument to Revolution (After Mies) (2014) borrows its form and symbolic order from Mies van der Rohe’s monument but it privileges collaboration and participation, and aims to reflect these values through its process-based method of construction. “The idea is to think beyond the confines of nation-state and involve a large number of European and international anti-fascist, workers’ and leftist organisations, labor unions, women’s organisations, as well as all interested individuals in the process of gathering the building blocks for the piece” (Sanja Iveković).
The daadgalerie will present Iveković’s monument project within an exhibition of new works titled Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein! (I was, I am, I shall be!). Like much of her work, especially the pieces created for public spaces, her monument design functions on several levels; while it can be considered an architectural project, it also serves to catalyze a debate that goes far beyond local monument politics.
In line with the broader scope of this undertaking, the exhibition presents Iveković’s monument design alongside some of the reflections, research, and documents that continue to shape the project. Centered on the history of Mies van der Rohe’s destroyed monument, Iveković’s project uses the monument as a research object situated within the historical context of left-wing revolution. In order to shed light on this context, the exhibition is supplemented by a timeline tracing the history of Mies’s monument—throughout the shifting ideologies of and practices for the politics of memory, especially in light of Rosa Luxemburg as a disquieting Marxist thinker—and is juxtaposed by an extensive chronology of left-wing revolutionary movements and uprisings, as well as women’s suffrage, from 1910 to the present day. A new video installation (We will be victorious if we have not forgotten how to learn) created especially for the exhibition provides the images, sounds, and ideas for the timeline, with excerpted archival material documenting revolutionary movements and passages from Rosa Luxemburg’s “Letters from Prison.”
Iveković uses the original work as well as her own monument proposal as a vehicle to examine and shed light on latent conflicts and contradictions, including the desire for community and the need to resurrect a revolutionary memory, as implied in the series of drawings “Waiting for the revolution (till tomorrow)” (1992/2015).
The accompanying symposium “Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility” is to take place concurrently from July 3 to 4, 2015. It will examine what discursive or aesthetic forms are appropriate for an unrealized revolution, and consider what values a monument reconstructed in the present day might stand for. Against the backdrop of Rosa Luxemburg’s canonical choice between “Reform or revolution?” as well the events of the November Revolution in 1918–19, discussions will focus on the contradictory iterations of a revolutionary memory that is shaped by martyrdom and heroism, as well as optimism and melancholy.
Sanja Iveković, born in 1949 in Zagreb (Yugoslavia / Croatia today), lives and works there. She has participated in numerous international biennials and major exhibitions, such as documenta 8 (1987), 11 (2002) and 13 (2012) and has had comprehensive institutional solo exhibitions, for example in the South London Gallery (Unknown Heroine), the MUDAM, Luxembourg (Waiting for the revolution), 2012, at MoMA, New York (Sweet Violence), 2011, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (Urgent Matters) and Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz (Practice Makes The Master), 2009. In 2015 she was nominated for the Artes Mundi Prize. In 2005 Sanja Iveković was a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program.

“Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility”
A symposium with: Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Boris Buden, Ekaterina Degot, Antonia Majaca, Jodi Dean, Gal Kirn, Bojana Pejić, Gerald Raunig, Milica Tomic, Jelena Vesić, Siegbert Wolf, Sami Khatib, Branimir Stojanovic, Ralf Hoffrogge, Andrew Hersher, Susanne Leeb and Ross Wolfe, among others.

Curated by Antonia Majaca

A production of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program and HAU Hebbel am Ufer.

Heidrun Holzfeind + Mies van der Rohe

Colonnade Park / Mies in Newark, revisited
series of 11 images, C-prints, 40x60 cm, 2010 

The series of photographs shows exterior and interior views as well as the surroundings of the Colonnade and Pavilion Apartment buildings in Newark, New Jersey, which were designed by Mies van der Rohe in the late 1950ies.
The construction of the luxurious three modern glass and steel towers for middle class families and professionals and the Columbus Homes, eight high rise brick buildings for low-income families, was part of Newark‘s Urban Renewal Plan. The soon infamous Columbus Homes (like most other high rise public housing projects in Newark) were blasted in the 1990ies and a few years later replaced by Wyona Lipman Gardens, townhouses for yet again low-income families. Mies's apartment buildings, never landmarked, are now among the few high rise apartment buildings in the city.

The discoloring and staining of the images which occured accidentally during the slide processing, most likely due to bad chemicals adds to the question of timeliness of the design and concept of the architecture.

In conjunction with the video Colonnade Park, Holzfeind produced photographs documenting the site. During the photo-development process, the lab's error became Holzfeind's boon; the prints were delivered streaked and speckled with purplish-blue (sometimes pink) chemical solution. In the resulting images, a whimsical layer is superimposed between the negative (Holzfeind's composition) and that which it indexes (a corridor, a view from the window, a cathedral in the distance). Between the Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments and these photographs, the spills and splotches displace both the Mies buildings and their 2010 imaging into a hazy third temporality. (Niko Vicario)

Heidrun Holzfeind + Schwadron

Strictly Private, 2012 

The group of works focuses on the Viennese architect Ernst Schwadron (Vienna 1896 - New York 1979). He was the eldest son of the cofounder of "Brüder Schwadron", a well-known Jewish ceramics and tile company. The company's offices and showroom used to be BAWAG Contemporary's exhibition spaces in 2012. (An original tiled ceiling remains until today). Five floors above the gallery rooms, in the same building on Franz Josefs Kai 3, used to be Ernst Schwadron's own penthouse apartment.

Ernst Schwadron worked as an architect and interior designer in the late 1920's and 1930's in Vienna, mostly for a wealthy Jewish clientele. In 1938 he fled the Nazis and emigrated to New York where he ran his own design business, Ernst Schwadron Inc., on Madison Avenue for 30 years. In the late 1940's he built a house for himselfand his second wife in upstate New York which he called "Dream Lake." He died in New York in 1979 at the age of 82, pretty much forgotten in the architectural world.

The works interweave different places and points in time between 1930 and today, fathom the boundaries between history and identity, personal fate and today’s political narratives, reality and fiction. The interior of the gallery becomes a container for various photographs and artifacts that quote interiors of Schwadron.

Interiors are the focus of this new work, which picks up the trail of the Austrian architect Ernst Schwadron who was forced to emigrate to the United States in 1938. Presenting photographs of various interiors of homes he designed in Vienna and New York, Holzfeind documents a history full of gaps and question marks and, casting a glance at Schwadron’s personal taste and significant traits, sketches a social portrait of one of the forgotten protagonists of Viennese modernism. (Christine Kintisch)

Heidrun Holzfeind + Schindler

configurations (headstand / tree pose / L shaped handstand / hero pose / plow pose / bow pose / cobra pose / squat / handstand)
series of 9 C-prints, 20x30 cm, 2014 

In "configurations", a series of self-portraits in yoga poses, Holzfeind inscribes her body into the interior architecture of the Mackey Apartments in Los Angeles. Built in 1939 by Rudolph Schindler for Pearl Mackey as rental units, they now house the artist residents of the MAK-Schindler residency program by the MAK Center Los Angeles.
In homage to artist Valie Export's series "Körperkonfigurationen" (Body Configurations), Holzfeind uses the body as a kind of measuring device to consider the relationship between the user and architectural space. A humorous response to the pressure to be productive during an artist residency in a modernist apartment which is also regularly shown to architectural tourists; the apartment becomes the studio, the daily routine is extended into a meditation on the Californian body culture and Schindler's spacial concepts.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Heidrun Holzfeind at the Vienna Werkbundsiedlung

forms in relation to life / the Vienna Werkbundsiedlung
HD Video, 60 min, 2014
In his text Harmony in the art of building published in the exhibition catalog Die Internationale Werkbundsiedlung Wien 1932 Oskar Strnad speaks of “the harmony between nature and geometric forms which have become meaning.” Referencing this and other ideals of involved architects, the film looks at how the ideas of the model houses are “lived“ today, 80 years after their completion.

32 Austrian and international architects, among them Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, Oswald Haerdtl, André Lurçat, Richard Neutra, Ernst Plischke, Gerrit Rietveld, Oskar Strnad and Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky were invited by Josef Frank to build one and two family homes with gardens for this model housing estate in Vienna‘s 13th district. The aim was to create comfortable and cost-efficient housing within minimal space, as an alternative to the superblock structures the city built at the time. After the exhibition, only a few of the houses were sold. The majority of the houses was eventually rented through the “Wiener Wohnen” (affordable housing) program by the city of Vienna.

This basic idea: to maximize the utilization of minimal resources ... to create space for real life. (Walter Sobotka)
I tried to capture the search for this “real life“ in images, visiting residents in their houses and gardens over the period of one year. The inhabitants recount personal stories and anecdotes, and reflect on the social fabric within the estate.
The film looks at what ideas were fulfilled and which ones failed, how the residents have adapted the houses to their own needs, how they deal with the minimal living space, the restrictions imposed by landmark regulations or the frequent tourist visits. A loose collection of the various characters, stories and lifes taking place in the estate.
People will live there and have visitors, small friendships and big enmities will please and hurt. The exhibition will turn into a residential estate, once and until the connection between house and happiness, of home and experience happens. Once not only the kids brought in by the new owners but the newborns will cry there, once the dead are taken away. Once people will live there. (Johannes Ilg: Die Werkbund-Siedlung, in: Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung, July 29, 1932, page 6).

with: Elisabeth Gaisser, Angelika Grasmuck, Raimund Heinz, Margot & Anatol Hruby, Ivana, Fabian & Vanessa Jäger, Susanne Kompast, Elfriede Mislik, Helga Mislik, Brigitte Perner, Walter Raschbach
kids: Pablo Brudermann, Maja Dertschei, Kuba Holzfeind, Lino, Luca & Vita Horak, Ferun & Miex Mayer, Rosali Michalka, Miles Mungin

concept/camera/editing: Heidrun Holzfeind; additional camera (costume parade): Ruth Kaaserer

Aurélien Froment + Soleri

Aurélien Froment
De l'Ombre des idées (21-11), 2014
Framed archival inkjet print on baryta paper
82 x 65,8 x 3 cm
ed 3 + 2

Tom Burr + Le Corbusier

Tom Burr, “The Storage Project,” 1993 Installation view, Unite D’Habitation Le Corbusier, Firminy, France, 1993

Erika Hock + Loos

Erika Hock “The Seamstress, Her Mistress, the Mason and the Thief” installation views at Tenderpixel, London, 2014.

Courtesy: Tenderpixel, London. Photo: Original&theCopy.

Erika Hock’s practice is characterized by the fluid crossover in between sculptural and architectural elements, as well as a recent extended interest in tapestries and furniture that investigate meeting points between history, society and culture. Invested in discussions surrounding functionality and aesthetics, interior design and the perception of the body to the built environment, formed specifically for this exhibition Hock has centered her research upon the anecdotes surrounding Adolf Loos’s design for Josephine Baker’s house. Josephine Baker’s body as well as the building designed for her has become the subject of various studies, particularly in terms of understanding them as a surface for projecting modernist ideas at the convergence of art and architecture; theatricality and voyeurism. Hock’s playful panels of black and white felt reimagine the architectural body to the detail of the peeping widows as eyes, while evoke a playful theme of jazz. Treating the subject more generously, much like Sonia Delaunay’s and other early 20th century avant-garde artists’ textiles, they don’t describe a scene, a space or a character, but become it. Existing in between sculpture, wall based work and architecture, the tapestries explore the body’s relation to objects’ shape, form and scale through active presence and participation in the space.

Amie Siegel + Le Corbusier

Amie Siegel, Double Negative (detail), 2015. Two synchronized 16mm film projections, black & white / silent. Courtesy the artist and Simon Preston Gallery, New York.

The Museum Villa Stuck is pleased to present Amie Siegel: Double Negative, the first large-scale exhibition of American artist Amie Siegel, establishing correspondences between seven of the artist’s works spanning a decade (2005–15) and including a newly commissioned film installation that gives the exhibition its title.

Known for her layered, meticulously constructed works that trace and perform the undercurrents of systems of value, image-making and methods of observation, Siegel’s work moves between film, video, photography, performance and installation. The artist’s particular attention to the past, and the unfolding of time, provides the starting point for the exhibition’s structure: a series of “ritornellos,” reflexive passages of repetition and differenceSiegel, to quote Deleuze, “makes, remakes and unmakes” her works “along a moving horizon from an always decentred centre, from an always displaced periphery which repeats and differentiates them.”
The new commission Double Negative (2015) proposes ruptures between original and remake, artefact and copy, collection and preservation. Two 16mm films simultaneously project images of Le Corbusier’s iconic white Villa Savoye outside Paris, and its doppelgänger, a black copy located in Canberra, Australia. Each film has been printed on 16mm stock as a negative image, or polarity print, thus reversing light and dark. The Antipodean black Villa Savoye is, in fact, an ethnographic institute, dedicated now to the digital duplication of its extensive collections of anthropological films, photographs, slides and sound recordings, as Siegel reveals in a high definition colour video. The work enacts the infinite loop of recorded artefacts—the urgency to document and record “vanishing” rituals and cultural practices becomes instead the contemporary archival impulse to copy vanishing media formats to digital. These concatenated elements extend the artist’s engagement with architecture as a foil, enacting and revealing across constellation-like works, layered sociological and aesthetic concerns.

Shezad Dawood + Le Corbusier

Cities of the Future
September 24 - October 20, 2010

After partition Nehru invited Le Corbusier to design the Chandigarh Parliament.
While one can look at this as the intervention of European Modernism in India, if one looks at the bigger picture there is an obvious thread of mystic geometry originating in the Indian Subcontinent that could be said to pervade and inform European Modernism.

Thus, hermetic forms such as the spiral and atomic structures, developed in tantra, can be said to play a major part in the evolution and thinking of the early Modernists, influenced as they were by theosophy and Rosiecrucianism.
These systems of thought in turn were heavily influenced by early Indian philosophy and played their part in the independence movement in India.

It is this full circle of ideas and forms that this exhibition looks to explore.

Using a combination of pieces on vintage textile and neon wall sculptures, the works in the show map out a trajectory between formal abstraction, architecture and sacred geometry.

Through looking at a circulation of forms between Le Corbusier's designs for Chandigarh, tantric symbols- and the utopian narratives that could be said to both contain and be contained by them- what the show points to are alternative currents towards a mystical mapping of the city of the future.