This project was first developed during a residency at La Ene, in Buenos Aires.
It consists on a video installation showing a fragment of a Soviet musical movie, Cheryomushki (1963), where two young couples sing and dance in front and around an imaginary housing project. The video is shown inverted on a vintage TV which is placed on top of a mirror platform on the floor.
The starting point of the installation is a plan developed by Le Corbusier for Buenos Aires throughout the 30’s, and especially an idea that haunted him since his first glance of Buenos Aires in 1929: To move the business center from the old city to the middle of the river. This “cité des affaires” with rational, clean, magnificent structures build upon a concrete platform was a space where the city would open “in full light, in full freedom, in full joy” and where you could see the “arrival of the transatlantic liners and airplanes” . It was the arrival of a European modernity to a city and a continent with the possibility to build a new world, planed and rational. When the plan for Buenos Aires was developed and finally published in the 1940’s modernity had to be built from scratch. An economically flourishing Latin America could be the right place to start doing so.
Friday, 4 March 2016
Documentation: Installation views, drawing details (ink on velum with collage)
Baghdad Case Study
(LABOR) Terence Gower, 2014 Cedar-veneer plywood, steel, paper, acrylic, digital prints, drawings on velum 6 x 18 metres overall
Exhibited at LABOR, Mexico City
Press Release: Baghdad Case Study
Link: Terence Gower’s Baghdad Case Study in Art Agenda
Related Project: Baghdad Screen
Sunday, 6 September 2015
"Loos House", 2013
Installation view, ‘Lucy McKenzie: Something They Have to Live With’, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2013. Photograph: Gert Jan van Rooij. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/ Berlin; Cabinet, London; and Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp
Installation made of brass // part of In confinement my desolate mind desires, Art | Basel Hong Kong 2014
The modulor is an anthropocentric scale invented by the Swiss born French architect and designer Le Corbusier. Its metric system is based on human measurements, Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio. Le Corbusier himself described it as a “range of harmonious measurements to suit the human scale, universally applicable to architecture and to mechanical things.” The “harmonious measurements” were the overall height of 7.4 ft that should correspond to an adult with raised arms. The church of St. Marie de la Tourette was designed according to the modulor scale and equipped with 100 cells for monks with a height of 7.4 ft and a room width of 6 ft.
The only problem with human measurements is that there is not one global average scale. Even Le Corbusier had to realize that his initial French modulor of 5.7 ft needed to be adapted to 6 ft, because “in English detective novels, the good-looking men, such as policemen, are always six feet tall!” Thus, it was a fictional man who inspired the harmonious scale.
I got interested in the question how tall the people in the world really are. By this reason my attention was drawn to prison cells. These cells are highly rationalized spaces where no inch is wasted. I started a research and found out that the average prison cell in Germany should have a ground floor of 80 square foot, whereas the average cell in Russia has 27 square foot. Although Russia is a much larger country than Germany the people in Russia seem to be so much smaller. I got interested in getting more and more data from prison cells in different countries all over the world to compare the size of human beings. The work “Modulor” is a reconstruction of these data in order to create a visual grid that could be considered an empirical base for the global average human ratio.
photo: Hein van Liempd, courtesy Stroom Den Haag
Thursday, 30 April 2015
Oil on canvas
Grüntuch Ernst Architects
Simplicity and Innovative Ingenuity in Today’s Building
Editors: Ilka and Andreas Ruby
What is space? How can we experience it with the senses, how understand and rethink its urban and cultural dimensions? These questions stand at the beginning of the work of Grüntuch Ernst architects. They meet the complex requirements of building today by going back to traditional simplicity while producing innovative and ingenious technical solutions—and yet they return, time and again, to the central question of space. The new monograph offers a review of Grüntuch Ernst’s award-winning projects from the past ten years as well as more recent works and successful competition entries such as the German School in Madrid and the conversion of the former Jewish Girls’ School in Berlin into a venue for art and culture. Instead of traditional project descriptions, the book contains personal conversations in which the two architects reflect on the motivations that drive their projects and trace their evolution.
An exceptional approach to the architecture of the office appears in pictures created by the painter Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen and the photographer Heji Shin, who have used the means of their art to engage with Grüntuch Ernst’s designs.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Padiglione Esprit Nouveau
Piazza Costituzione 11, Bologna
January 7–25, 2015 – residence period
January 14–22, 2015 – individual visits by appointment
January 23-–25, 2015 – open to the public
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Monday, 27 October 2014
Monika Sosnowska, Tower, 2014. Steel, paint 332.7 x 3223.3 x 668 cm. Installation view, "Monika Sosnowska. Tower", Hauser & Wirth New York, 18th Street, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Genevieve Hanson
New York, NY… Hauser & Wirth is proud to present Monika Sosnowska’s ‘Tower’, a mammoth new work that conjoins architecture and sculpture in order to explore the politics and poetics of space. Known for large-scale, site-specific installations, Sosnowska creates psychologically charged art rooted in existing structures and influenced by the built environment. She manipulates forms – collapsing, twisting, and squeezing steel – into disorienting configurations that not only alter perceptions of physical space but challenge our certainties about memory and our assumptions about societal structures.
‘Tower’ will be on view from 5 September through 25 October at Hauser & Wirth’s downtown gallery at 511 West 18th Street.
For over a decade, Monika Sosnowska has amassed a documentary archive of visual material, mostly photographs made during her walks around her native Warsaw. Recording the conditions of everyday life in Poland, she captures architectural details and structures – workshops, apartment blocks, abandoned buildings, demolition sites, forgotten places – that reflect the heritage, upheaval, stagnation, and rebuilding of the city and the nation’s Communist past. Imbuing a kind of cultural memory in her oeuvre, Sosnowska makes sculpture that manifests recollections, both individual and collective, that collide where ‘architectural space begins to take on the characteristics of mental space’. Her formal language echoes different contradictory modernisms: that of Polish constructivism of the 1930s, the minimal and conceptual tendencies of international art from the 1960s and 1970s, and the Socialist architecture found in Eastern European states.
With ‘Tower’ at Hauser & Wirth, Sosnowska takes on the International Style. Measuring approximately 110 feet in length, this sprawling work is inspired specifically by the design principles of German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the 20th century’s Ur- Modernist, and makes reference to the iconic International Style trope he elevated to sheer physical poetry: the glass curtain wall. With ‘Tower’, Sosnowska quotes the steel framework underlying the hung glass façade of Mies van der Rohe’s Chicago masterpiece, the Lake Shore Drive Apartments, abstracting, disfiguring and bending that framework into a fallen monument. Unmoored from its rational geometry, ‘Tower’ stretches and curves across the gallery’s vast exhibition space. Through Sosnowska’s re-imagining, a coolly elegant, machined, and perfectly readable structure is transformed into something wholly opposite.
Completed in 1951, the Lake Shore Drive Apartments are among the most striking examples of the radicalization of Bauhaus ideology. These 26-storey skyscrapers are robust steel-framed structures wrapped in deceptively sumptuous materials – floating mantles of steel and diaphanous glass – in a synthesis of aesthetics and technology. At the time of their completion, Mies van der Rohe’s residential towers were among the most expensive ever built, vivid symbols of the imaginative forces driving American capitalism. The transparency of the International Style expressed a dream of societal openness that, when deployed in such a refined and luxurious manner, translated into an expression of power and prosperity. Meanwhile, Mies van der Rohe’s elegant statement stood in stark juxtaposition to the ways in which the very same architectural style figured in the creation of a new social order in Poland under Soviet rule.
Sosnowska’s artistic process often begins with the creation of small maquettes and drawings, rooted in motifs of existing structural forms. Her work is then reproduced at a 1:1 scale with assistance from fabricators, technicians, and engineers, employing the same materials used in the referenced object. The huge steel framework of ‘Tower’ was first constructed as a whole, later cut into more than fifty parts for viable transport, each piece ‘sculptured’ under Sosnowska’s direction. The making of ‘Tower’ involved cranes, hydraulic presses, and chains in a labor intensive, heavily hand-worked process. Subverting its material’s prefabricated rigidity, ‘Tower’ twists and contorts the modernist grid to create a sort of reclining figure, a lyrical sculptural object that usurps perfect structural engineering. ‘Tower’ is the latest product of Sosnowska’s current exploration of the curtain wall as architectural motif and metaphor. In one recent work, for example, she reconstructed the glass façade of the Bauhaus School in Dessau, Germany, a legendary building designed by Walter Gropius.
A new catalogue will be published in conjunction with the New York presentation of ‘Tower’, featuring photographs by acclaimed Polish architectural photographer Juliusz Sokolowski, documenting Sosnowska’s artistic process from development of her initial ideas through to the intermediate steps of fabrication. Each stage is recorded, capturing the process of creation, manipulation, and change. The images will be complemented by an essay from art historian Andrzej Turowski, Professor at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France.
About the Artist
Monika Sosnowska was born in Poland in 1972. She currently lives and works in Warsaw. This summer Sosnowska held residency at L’Atelier Calder in Saché, France (2014), and many of the models she created there will be the focus of an exhibition at Cahiers d’Art in Paris in fall 2014. Major solo exhibitions for Sosnowska have included ‘Market’, Perez Art Museum, Miami FL (2013); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen CO (2013); ‘Regional Modernities’, Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (2013); The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Scotland (2012); ‘The Staircase/Die Treppe, 2010’, K21 Standehaus, Dusseldorf, Germany (2011); Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel (2010); Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Lichtenstein (2007); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York NY (2006). In 2007, Sosnowska represented Poland at the 52nd Venice Biennale, where her work garnered critical international attention for the monumental sculpture ’1:1’ (2007).
Sosnowska will have important solo exhibitions in winter 2015 at the Serralves Foundation in Porto, Portugal, and Maison Hermes Ginza in Tokyo.