Monday, 30 January 2012

Friday, 27 January 2012

Falke Pisano + Grey

Screen (Parabolic Reflector), 2008. Wood, paint, mirror. Variable dimensions.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Alexander Apóstol + Neutra

Think Blue III
Fotografía Digital
Díptico, 55 x 155 cm
Trabajo comisionado por Los Angeles
Contemporary Editions, 2006

Sobre esta obra:
Durante la década de los ’50 el famoso arquitecto angelino Richard Neutra proyectó un complejo urbanístico para los habitantes del Chávez Revine. Estos provenían de México y era inmigrantes de bajos recursos, pero el proyecto estaba financiado por inversores privados. Estos se reunieron con los habitantes del sector y se organizaron para ir desalojando a medida que se construían las modernas viviendas para luego habitarlas. Todo ello ocurría en medio del ambiente anticomunista de la era McCarthy y sus seguidores, que rápidamente olieron en el proyecto tintes sospechosos. Los inversores decidieron cancelar el proyecto y se reutilizó inmediatamente el espacio para construir el stadium de Los Dodgers, no sin antes echar por la fuerza, utilizando tractores y policías, a los habitantes del sector negados a irse.
El suceso se silenció con la finalización de la construcción de stadium para el equipo estrella, institución muy respetada por los angelinos. El slogan de Los Dodgers, y que luce en enormes vallas frente al stadium, dice THINK BLUE.

José Dávila + Le Corbusier

"Ville Savoie", 2011

Terence Gower + Mies van der Rohe

"Seagram building", 2011

Tamar Guimaraes + Niemeyer

Canoas (a film)
Tamar Guimaraes

Casa das Canoas is the house Oscar Niemeyer built for himself in the early 50s. Surrounded by remnants of the rainforest in the hills of the city of Rio de Janeiro the house floor plan appears to be a stage for sensuous display and erotic possibilities rather than a machine for living.

My intention is to research and produce a short 16mm film at the house in which the camera follows the preparations for a cocktail party - focusing on the servants, on the house maintenance and on the house itself.

Instead of housing for the masses, modernist architecture in Brazil was in most cases a luxury item for the wealthy, and the servants classes, an ubiquitous reality in the lives of Brazilian middle and upper classes, was and still is an inbuilt commodity in the pleasure machine which this architecture serves.

According to Richard J. Williams “during Kubitcheck’s presidency (Casa das Canoas) was a critical part of Rio’s cultural infrastructure, providing a regular setting for cocktails for visiting dignitaries and intellectuals. The erotic charge of the house was no doubt more imaginary than real, but equally, there is little doubt that it helped to contribute – along with the beaches and the floorshow of Copacabana, and the genuinely uninhibited revelry of Carnival – to the myth of Brazil as an erotic paradise. (...) The house in this scenario is far more than the European Modernists ever really envisaged. Far from being a ‘machine for living’, this is a riot of orgiastic pleasure.” (1)

My initial idea is to visually reproduce the accounts which helped to fuel and maintain the glamorous image of this indeed extremely beautiful house - the play of light, the curves, water, the Atlantic forest remnants which surround it, etc… For example the house as recounted by the architect Ernesto Rogers: “I doubt that I shall ever forget that scene: the sun was just dipping below the horizon, leaving us in the dark sea of orange, violet, green and indigo. The house repeated the themes of that orgiastic countryside (incense and the hum of insects); a vast rhapsody beginning in the roof vibrated down the walls and their niches to finish in the pool, where the water, instead of being neatly dammed up, spread freely along the rocks in a kind of forest pool.” (2)

Part of this project is to research on Niemeyer’s involvement with the Communist party and his views of what architecture can or cannot accomplish, as well as the conflicting meanings and purposes of modernist architecture within Brazilian society. These would be scripted as lines occasionally inserted in the dialogue between anonymous characters.

(1). ‘The Politics of Eros’, in Richard J. Williams’ Brazil: Modern architectures in history,
Reaktion Books, 2009
(2)/ ibid, (see longer extract below).

Runo Lagomarsino + Niemeyer

Contratiempos (2009-10)

Consists of a dia projection loop and three postcards. The starting point for the work is the Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx, inaugurated in 1954 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city. The projected photos are the record of the artist's search for the image of the South-American map in the cracks of the paved path that unites the different buildings in the park. There is an element of performativity as the artist walks along the 28,000 square meters marquise seeking the aged concrete for fissures that resemble his idea and memory of this territory's outline. In connection to the slide projection, three postcards reproduce the covers of books displayed in Niemeyer's library in Casa das Canoas, Rio de Janeiro, built by the architect between 1951 and 53 as his own residency. The covers read: "Afiches Républicaines de la Guerre d'Espagne", "Guerre et Revolution en Espagne" and "Кремль".

Stefan Bruggemann + Mies van der Rohe

Stefan Brüggemann at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion,
Curators: Laurent Fiévet and Silvia Guerra.
May 25 - 29, 2011


The World is a prisoner of its own making as if it has been abruptly locked behind a partition of mirrors.

Artist Stefan Brüggemann at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion follows the maxims Less is more and Gott steckt im Detail (God is in the detail). In order to extol the virtues of the architecture, he has chosen an approach as minimalist as it is radical: replacing the three windows of the principle facade with reflective surfaces. With this choice, the artist revisits the relationship between darkness and transparency in architecture by simultaneously shattering the structure of the façade and rendering it more concrete. The artist accomplishes this separation by blocking light inside the building and rejecting the outdoor light. He enacts a new spatial experiment that turns upside down the free circulation and the aesthetic and philosophical principles at the heart of this architecture. By inviting him to explore the recesses of his mind and question what informs his vision of the world (and therefore recreating his gaze and allowing us to better enter his artistic universe), Stefan Brüggemann includes everything, including the visitor, in his view of his world. This takes physical shape with the projection of his image on the pavilion’s facade through the simple use of reflection, which he in turn violently rejects by blocking his own gaze. We can see this as a way to distinguish the uniqueness of his approach and to use humor to underline his ability to turn something inside out. Just as the visitor finds himself confronted with the projected personification of Morning (as imagined by Georg Kolbe) who suddenly stretches out in front of the fountain’s liquid surface, he is also confronted by himself, face to face with his critical analysis of this artistic creation, whether it be iconoclast or respectful: this location helps the visitor come to terms with his own train of thought and to articulate his concerns. Deeply ambivalent, Stefan Brüggemann’s approach to this intervention brings us back to the image of the mirror which the artist, at times, so enjoys hanging the backwards: the perception generated by his intervention swallows everything up and risks being stifling, much like a posited claim that is still susceptible to doubt and wonder. It resembles a mirror reflecting light, which can both blind and dazzle the eyes.
text by Laurent Fiévet


When the World looks in the mirror does it see perfection?

It may not be blind to its perfection, but perfection is boring.

The World’s perfection is its final delusion: man has designed another world richer and more complete than this world and this new one, like the first, is already burning up under the sun.

The Sun’s reflection in the mirror causes it to go up in flames.

Through Stefan Brüggemann’s simple material alterations to Barcelona’s Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, our gaze is held, captivated, by its own image – like a metaphor for this contemporary world.

Duality is a theme in the Pavilion: the marble veining and travertine grain repeat. Stefan Brüggemann’s intervention transforms the transparencies into mirrors through a slight of the hand that allows the spectator to see multiples of himself.

Since its renovation in 1986, art and architecture come together in this timeless work by Mies van der Rohe. Stefan Brüggemann’s ephemeral intervention terminates this dream of eternal life.

The sociologist Bruno Latour deemed that we were never modern, but Brüggemann pushes us to be hypermodern. We must march to the rhythm of our time.

text by Silvia Guerra


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Andrea Sala + Niemeyer

Palme di Oscar, 2008
wax crayon and cement

Isa Melsheimer + Luckhardt / Scharoun / Taut

Taut 2009, Glas, Silikon
75 x Ø 48 cm

Scharoun 2009, Glas, Silikon
39 x 40 x 42 cm

Luchardt 2, 2009, Glas, Silikon
25 x 71 x 57 cm

Monday, 9 January 2012

Josiah McElheny + Hablik / Luckhardt

"Crystalline Landscape After Hablik and Luckhardt", 2010.

Rob Voerman + le Corbusier

 ‘Unité #1′ 2010
watercolor and pencil on paper, 60×45 cm

 ‘Unité d’Habitation’ 2011
wood, cardboard and glass, 200×187x58 cm

‘Unité #2′
watercolor and pencil on paper, 45×60 cm

Josiah McElheny + Taut / Mies van der Rohe

Installation views of:

Bruno Taut's Monument to Socialist Spirituality
(After Mies van der Rohe)

Hand blown and molded glass modules, wood and hardware
105 3/4 x 75 x 55 inches
(268.6 x 190.5 x 139.7 cm)
ARG# MJ2009-001

©Josiah McElheny

Bruno Taut on Mies van der Rohe (1922), i
Drawing on silver gelatin photograph using color
retouching pencil
23 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches
(59.7 x 44.5 cm)
Edition variant 1 of 4, 1AP
ARG# MJ2009-005

©Josiah McElheny