Sunday, 6 September 2015

Iosu Arambaru + Le Corbusier


The arriving transatlantic liners, 2013.

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.

Lucy McKenzie + Loos

"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

Luftwerk + Wright

Mary Lum + Le Corbusier

Villa La Roche, 2014
Acrylic, comic and photo fragments on paper

Nadia Kaabi-Linke + Le Corbusier

Modulor I
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. 

Ângela Ferreira + Siza

Ângela Ferreira 'Revolutionary Traces', installation view at Stroom Den Haag, 2014
photo: Hein van Liempd, courtesy Stroom Den Haag