Tuesday, 31 October 2017

David Helbich + SANAA


Jimmy Robert + Johnson

Jimmy Robert, Imitation of Lives, 2017. Rehearsal view, Glass House, 2017. NIC Kay and Quenton Stuckey.

The work of Guadeloupe-born, Bucharest-based artist Jimmy Robert spans photography, film, video, sculpture, and performance, but collage is its mainstay. For his latest piece, titled Imitation of Lives, 2017, and staged at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, Robert mines the architect’s infamous life and historical influence to create an exquisite montage interspersed with divergent references and foreign objects, including music, mirrors, bits of poetry, and a marble trompe-l’oeil painting by Lucy McKenzie, among other things. The work is co-curated by Cole Akers and Charles Aubin as part of Performa 17 and will take place November 3–5, 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.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Cildo Meireles + Costa and Niemeyer

Arte Física: Caixas de Brasília/Clareira – , 1969. Sequência de fotografias e mapas, três caixas de terra. Fotografia: Pat Kilgore.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Bas Schevers + Le Corbusier


Quote from "La Poème de l'Angle Droit" by Le Corbusier, 1947-1953 translated by Kenneth Hylton in 1989
Soundtrack: "Adagio Hoek" by Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen, 2015

This fragment is part of the video project "Corner Sessions" (2015)

Monday, 25 September 2017

David Hartt + Safdie


The Graham Foundation is pleased to present in the forest, a new commission by artist David Hartt. Borrowing its title from a chapter of Claude Lévi-Strauss’ 1955 memoir Tristes Tropiques, this multi-part installation continues Hartt’s investigation into the relationship between ideology, architecture, and the environment by revisiting architect Moshe Safdie’s unfinished 1968 Habitat Puerto Rico project.
Begun just one year after the resounding success of Safdie’s visionary design for Habitat 67 in Montreal—a model housing development created for the Expo 67 World’s Fair—Habitat Puerto Rico was one of several Habitat housing developments that the architect designed for New York, Israel, and Singapore, among other cities. In Puerto Rico, the experimental housing development was designed to provide 800 low-cost dwelling units for moderate-income families in a system of stacked prefabricated concrete modules cascading down an undeveloped hill in the densely populated Hato Rey neighborhood of San Juan. The project was originally intended to occupy the Bosque Urbano de San Patricio, the former site of U.S. Navy housing, and now an overgrown tropical forest used as an urban park. Consistent with Safdie’s approach to other Habitat developments, Habitat Puerto Rico was designed to provide inhabitants with a sense of community, privacy, and access to green space, where each unit had a private garden and views of the city.
When writing about the Puerto Rico project in Beyond Habitat (1970), Safdie titled the chapter “Breakthrough.” Following a number of false starts in other cities, Habitat Puerto Rico appeared to be the first viable project after the success of Habitat 67. However, a number of significant constraints shaped and the project. First, the size and flat, hexagonal form of the individual modules were necessary to make the concrete units transportable by highway or barge because it was not possible to build a factory in close proximity to the original site, as had been done in Montreal. Second, the economy of the project was dictated by a federal housing subsidy the developers used to finance the development. Unfortunately, despite the developments and innovations achieved in Habitat Puerto Rico, political and economic forces stopped the project early in its construction.
Nearly fifty years after it was initiated, Hartt returns to the sites of Habitat Puerto Rico: the original wooded hillside of the Bosque Urbano de San Patricio; the alternate site for the project at Berwyn Farm in the Carolina municipality, just east of San Juan (where construction started after the original site was deemed untenable); and a number of remote sites around the island where modules have been abandoned or repurposed. Central to the exhibition is a meditative film that captures the remains of Safdie’s project. Featuring long takes of the weathered modules surrounded by the encroaching jungle, and environmental recordings layered with a composition by electronic musician Karl Fousek, Hartt’s piece offers a study of this unrealized experimental project—and the optimism from which it was conceived— recontextualized within the political and economic struggles of contemporary Puerto Rico.
in the forest will occupy the first and second floors of the Graham Foundation galleries and its outdoor courtyard. Through film, photographs, sculpture, tropical plants, ambient sound, and hexagonal ceramic objects that serve as both planters and seats, Hartt crafts an environment for contemplation of the Habitat project.

David Hartt (b. 1967, Montréal) lives and works in Philadelphia where he is Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at The Art Institute of Chicago; LAXART, Los Angeles; and Or Gallery, Vancouver. Additionally, his work has been included in several group exhibitions including Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015 at The Museum of Modern Art, America Is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Shine a light/Surgir de l’ombre: Canadian Biennial at the National Gallery of Canada. His work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Hartt is the recipient of a 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant. In 2012 he was named a United States Artists Cruz Fellow and in 2011 he received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Hartt is represented by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; David Nolan Gallery, New York; and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin.
David Hartt: in the forest is commissioned by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Additional support is provided by Oakville Galleries, Ontario, where the exhibition will travel in the fall of 2018.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Marianne Mueller + Johnston Marklee

HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE is a book about the architecture and collaborations of Johnston Marklee Architects, based in Los Angeles. Conceived as an extended cover, the series of double pages by Marianne Mueller includes works of Johnston Marklee combined with architectural sights of the city and its surroundings. The series reflects historical influences and personal interests of the architects and the artist.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Candida Höfer + Herzog & de Meuron

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Herzog & de Meuron Hamburg - 2016.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Walead Beshty + Le Corbusier

Still Life in the Observatory (Perspective / Composition Study after Le Corbusier, villa Savoye at Poissy, toit-jardin looking southwest, "gray hat, sunglasses and two indeterminate objects," 1931)

Santiago Cucullu + Wright

Love and Menace in the City, 2006, installation view Camden Arts Centre; courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery.
Photo: Andy Keate

Yves Bélorgey + Brown

Alexandra Road, London NW8, 2006.

Olivier Dollinger + Le Corbusier

Space Off, 2002/2015
Impression sur papier transfert encadré 17x23 cm, bande sonore, 8mn, en boucle.

La bande sonore de « Space Off » à été réalisé à la Villa Savoye du Corbusier à Poissy pour l’exposition « Les heures Claires » en 2002. Cette bande sonore résulte d’enregistrements réalisés durant une nuit passée à la villa pour laquelle j’ai invité un médium à tenter de rentrer en contact avec les esprits ayant habité la maison et que ceux-ci lui décrivent les lieux dans lesquels ils se trouvaient à ce moment-là. Les différents moments de la séance de spiritisme ouvrent un contrepoint à l’architecture du Corbusier, propose d’explorer le versant irrationnel de son architecture ou sa part d’ombre. L’image qui accompagne la bande sonore est une photographie anonyme, glané au cours de mes recherches, présentant la Villa Savoye durant sa construction, en chantier.


Stéphanie Nava + Le Corbusier

L'hypothèse d'une certaine interprétation, 2001

Produced for the exhibition Utopies in Marseille, "L’hypothèse d’une certaine interprétation" refers to the Cité Radieuse, the Unité d’Habitation which Le Corbusier designed in 1945. As both a piece of furniture and a maquette, this piece portrays the building as it was constructed: the vases are arranged in the place of the modules (sports facilities, children’s playground, chimneys…) installed on the roof terrace. The “drawer” executes the primary idea of constructing the building as a bottle rack in which the housing modules are fitted. The work nevertheless goes beyond scaled-down reproduction by, for example, questioning the decorative development of a utopian architectural gesture, with the following question in the background: how, over time, do the aesthetic and the utilitarian, the utopian and the functional fit together? Over and above architectural “criticism”, this piece, in particular through the idea of the drawer, echoes the issue of the secret, which is recurrently developed in the artist’s work. Conversely, this piece can just as well be presented as a piece of furniture asserting its housing function: equipped with receptacles waiting to be filled (the vases), containing “portions of existence” within its drawers and shelves, the work forms an object crystallizing several ways of living in the world, both physically and mentally.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Tercerunquinto "Gráfica reportes de condición"

Clarissa Tossin + Costa and Niemeyer

Study for a Landscape, Sicardi Gallery installation view
May 16 – June 29, 2013

In his 1984 book The Practice of Everyday Life, French philosopher and historian Michel de Certeau describes the relationships between a city and its inhabitants. The city, he writes, is generated and developed by corporations, institutions, and governments. And yet, despite its construction, the city is always in the process of being remade by the people who move through it. Describing the shortcuts
pedestrians take, de Certeau writes, “Their intertwined paths give their shape to spaces. They weave places together… It is true that the operations of walking on can be traced on city maps in such a way as to transcribe their paths (here well-trodden, there very faint) and their trajectories (going this way and not that). But these thick or thin curves only refer, like words, to the absence of what has passed by. Surveys of routes miss what was: the act itself of passing by.”1

In the exhibition Study for a Landscape, Clarissa Tossin takes that action of passing by, the physical inhabitation of a place during a limited span of time, as her subject. The series Brasília by Foot (2009-2013, above) includes a Google Earth satellite image of the city, showing the footpaths made by pedestrians across the iconic green space. Using the image as a kind of map, Tossin retraced certain of these paths. Her notations from this journey indicate the length of each walk, but in a purely subjective measurement: she counts the number of steps she takes across each pre-existing pathway and creates prints which indicate her walks, and are titled by the number of steps she takes: 2,943, 1,505, 485, 1,876, and 8,463. Through this gesture, Tossin draws the body into a dialogue with the practice of mapping—of the measured articulation of a place.

Brasília is an especially rich site for Tossin’s work. Designed from the ground up by architect Oscar Niemeyer and urban planner Lucio Costa, the city was built on a previously empty plateau as a beacon of modernist design for the automobile era. Here in her hometown, Tossin brings that modernist experiment in contact with the imperfections and particularities of the body. What does it mean to walk through a city that was designed with the automobile, rather than the pedestrian, in mind? Tossin prints these images on heavy vellum, using ink specially made from Brasília’s soil. With this material gesture, Tossin makes evident the indexical nature of the work. The maps made with soil places the artist, locating her action within its specific context, and reiterating the organic, happenstance nature of the footpaths carved into the city’s green space.

In Study for a Landscape (Brasília) and Study for a Landscape (Mars) (both 2012), Tossin takes satellite images of the two places and folds them into origami patterns. She folds Brasília into the shape of a car; Mars becomes the backdrop for a folded rocket. The resulting thin, white lines marking the images suggest urban plans poetically aligned with the machinery of human transportation. As in Brasília by Foot, Tossin makes visible the physical gesture of folding: these works similarly index the actions of the body as it bears upon the landscape. Here Tossin suggests that landscape is both a construct of the human imagination and a result of human actions.

Ladrão de Tênis (Sneaker Thief) (2009) indicates the important place of physical presence in Tossin’s work while it also highlights the themes of movement and walking that mark the exhibition as a whole. These plaster casts, made from the interior of used sneakers, capture the materiality of the shoes and their unique differences. The work’s title references a recent upsurge of violent crimes associated with sneaker theft in Brazil, and Tossin links these thefts to the increasing exploitation of desire for consumer goods in the country’s growing capitalist economy. She writes, “The mash-up of brands and bodies exposes the logic of the construction of the self in consumer culture.”

Throughout her body of work, Tossin makes multi-process projects. The objects shown in Study for a Landscape are evidence of an experience, even as they also exist as photographs, as documents, and as installation. They are multi-faceted in the ways they explore the frictions between landscape, the body, and urban space, and they bear complex and rewarding relationships to art historical and architectural precedents, such as land art, urban design, and conceptual practice. These objects are markers of the artist’s presence in a place and of her touch. Even if, as de Certeau argues, a city is built by corporations, governments, and institutions, Tossin’s approach to the landscape of Brasília re-makes and re-envisions that place. She invites the viewer to consider how one’s specific experiences in a place make it new, make it different.

1 Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984): 97.


Beto Shwafaty "The Life of the Centers"

Inkjet print on cotton paper mounted on dibond/aluminum. Installation with 35 to 42 images (approx.), 35 x 42 cm (each), total measure: 9 meters linear. 2011-2013

The Life of the Centers is a photographic project that explores three regions of São Paulo, considered as core areas for different reasons and at different periods: the historic center, Avenida Paulista and Avenida Berrini. Guided by testimonies and reports of people who have spent much of their working lives in these areas, and researching iconographic material into several archives, the project brings together observations on the historical cycles and flows of progress that occurred in these places of the city over a period of almost 40 years. Facts and memories are combined with archival footage and accounts of real characters, resulting in a docu -fictional work. From these meetings, resulted narratives and interpretations of urban, architectural and political changes that touch not only on personal issues, but also of social and public nature. First developed in a book format (supported by the State Program of São Paulo Cultural Action – PROAC / SP , 2011 ), this is the first formalization of the project in its exhibition format (photographic wall installation).

Exhibited at:
Love and Hate to Lygia Clark. Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, 2013.
Art and Heritage, Paço Imperial/IPHAN, Rio de Janeiro, 2014 (acquisition)
Taipa Tapume, Leme gallery, São Paulo, 2014.

Shwafaty, Beto. The Life of the Centers, Olhares publishing house, São Paulo, 2013 / ISBN 978-85-62114-22-9.


Lays Myrrha + Niemeyer



Renata Lucas + Niemeyer

Barulho de Fundo

Surveillance cameras of the Sao Paulo Bienal's building. 
With the collaboration of Dionís Escorsa and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané.

Shown at:

2006 Bienal de Sao Paulo. Brazil