Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Angela Ferreira + Mies van der Rohe and Guedes
Zip Zap Circus School (2000-2017) takes as its material two “unrealized” architectural projects: Pancho Guedes’ Zip Zap Circus School in Cape Town (1994) and Mies van der Rohe’s 1912 model for a portable at the Kröller Museum in Amsterdam. The bookends of early- and post-modernist architecture are combined into one work that documents, celebrates, and also critiques the notion of architecture as social reform (Zip Zap Circus School was designed to create educational opportunity and vocations for Cape Town youth). Implicit in the combination of references and the structure itself is portability, a concept I will come back to. But as with others of Ferreira’s architectural installations, their provisional status contains a conceptual slippage from “unfinished” into the weightier “unrealized”: prototypes stand in for historical contingency and the failures of modernism.