Monday, 31 July 2017

Alex Slade + Gehry

Pilar Quinteros + Plečnik

The famous slovene architect Jože Plečnik, who also was in charge of redesign today’s “Three Bridges” in Ljubljana, Slovenia, proposed in 1947 a design for a new Slovenian Parliament in Ljubljana during the second Yugoslavia. However, his design was rejected because of financial, logistic (it would have been necessary to demolish a lot of medieval buildings) and style matters. That is why another contest was released, this time with an open call, to find a final design and the winning project it’s today Slovenian Parliament. Despite of this, Plečnik’s design was recorded in many slovenian minds and today can be seen in 10 cent coin of Slovenia, even if the project never was developed.

My project consisted in reconstruct a model of Plečnik’s design in light materials (such as cardboard) and covered in water proof materials. The model was installed on a raft across the Ljubljana River. This way it wasn’t just the first time the building had a volumetric presence in the city, but it also “visited” different places without the possibility of been in one place for long, because there is no room for it in the urban design of the city. This project it’s about a building with no space to be that will move aimlessly across the waters of Ljubljana.

Renée Green + Schindler

“Begin Again, Begin Again”, 2015

Yuki Kimura "Katsura"

KATSURA” (2012), installation view at “Ocean of images: New Photography 2015″, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015-16 © the artist / Digital Image © 2015 The Museum of Modern Art, New York / Photographed by Thomas Griesel

Cesar Cornejo + Wright

Leyla Cárdenas + Dondel, Aubert, Viard, Dastugue


This site-specific intervention of Leyla Cárdenas has a ghost like presence, a presence that is seen as absence—which defines the nature and experience of a trace. The drawing of a building on a white wall has been meticulously removed by the artist until the floor was covered with layers of paint.*
The building resembles an old residential house; with the blinds down and no human sight. It looks deserted, it feels lonely. The white paint on the wall seems already cracked and in a natural process of decay.. Falling apart was unavoidable, a question of time. Still there is a certain crudeness in the artist’s intervention, as if her gesture has sped up the process, allowing us to witness this deterioration in fast-forward, taking us to the inherent destiny of a ruin. It’s the painful experience of a demolition. There is also a feeling of easiness in her intervention, not only induced by the precarious state of the wall, but also by the way she treats the materiality of the wall as a fabric, a piece of paper that is scratched and scraped again. This approach is present in other artist’s works, where residuals, fragments, discarded structures are used as material for sculptures and installations, yet the new context and re-use does not completely defuse their previous history.
We know it from Rauschenberg with his “Erased de Kooning Drawing” (1953), the question of destruction oscillates between addition and substraction. The strategy of removal is as much destructive as constructive. The act of erasure of an existing entity carries the potential of a new production. In Leyla Cárdenas site-specific intervention, it’s a reversed process. The act of removal resonates more to an archeological excavation and the work appears out of a discovery of something that already exists.
Cárdenas makes an act of deliberate disclosure: the peeled wall hides no secrets: it reveals a chaotic accumulation of traces and memories. The texture of the wall is its history, a history that is soon to be concealed by a fresh layer of paint. Artistic production meets exhibition-making. Think about how the preparations for an exhibition start and end the same: painting and cleaning the walls, removing carefully the previous traces and their related references and narratives, bringing the space back to a fictional white-impeccable status quo.

Palais de Tokyo-Paris
exhibition: Artesur-Collective Fictions

Michele Asselin + Froehlich

Ground Floor Hallway 3
Clubhouse Turn (2013-2016)

Composition 8, Part II (Exit to Grandstands, North End. Iggy)
Clubhouse Turn (2013-2016)

On December 22, 2013, Hollywood Park Racetrack closed its doors permanently.

Comprised of five hundred photographs culled from more than twenty-five thousand taken on location, the series ClubhouseTurn (2013-2016) is the final documentation of the historic landmark, constructed on a swampy landmass in Inglewood by entertainments moguls who had been excluded from other venues due to prejudice, before its demolition. It is a portrait of a quickly vanishing Los Angeles, not only of the architecture and grounds of Hollywood Park, but of those individuals whose livelihood and identities were dependent upon it.

The first turn on a racetrack immediately after the finish line, known as the ͞clubhouse turn,͟ is considered to be the best vantage point to see the finish of the race and is therefore where the privileged sit.Built with the values of a bygone era and the mythologies of the track, Hollywood Park was a place where the privileged and disenfranchised co-mingled; it epitomized the social complexity of a place of fantasy and dreams, winning and losing. ClubhouseTurn strives to produce a pictorial record of the inevitable amalgamation of imagined and actual realities, environment and circumstance. By grouping the images into framed constructions, the work functions like memory—consolidating, diffusing and reorganizing what has now disappeared.

Nancy Popp + Diller Scofidio Renfro

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Karina Nimmerfall and Morgan Fishe + Neutra and Alexander

In its ninth iteration, the MAK Center’s Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles exhibition series brought together former artist-in-residence Karina Nimmerfall and Los Angeles-based artist Morgan Fisher. Looking back at housing and urban planning in the U.S., the two artists revisited two historical moments: the dreams of home ownership via mass-produced, modular houses like those of architect, engineer, and city planner Howard T. Fisher and his company General Houses, Inc. in the 1930s; and, two decades later, the losing battle for a community-based modernism in the form of social housing, represented by the abandoned master plan for Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander’s Elysian Park Heights housing project in Chavez Ravine.

With the installation 1953. Possible Scenarios of a Discontinued Future, Nimmerfall created a multi-layered investigation into an unrealized social vision for a new modernist utopia—conceived of as a city within a city for a working class population of 17,000—on the site of the displaced communities of La Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop. Intended as a prototype for future low-cost housing, the controversial project was met with a highly publicized attack on public housing, where anti-socialist polemic, private developers, real estate lobbyists, and the media all came together not only to dominate public opinion, but also to affect the housing debate on a national level. After years of detailed preparation, the visionary plan for Elysian Park Heights was scrapped in 1953, and replaced by plans for Dodger Stadium, and private enterprise in general. The story of this housing project exemplifies the end, as well as the beginning, of a new era. After World War II, the socially concerned modernism of the left emerged from its own battles with a new corporate aesthetic and a much more ambivalent ideology, giving way to neo-liberal urban development practices.

Beginning with present day footage filmed on location at the former site of Neutra’s progressive, yet later razed, Channel Heights housing project (San Pedro, 1942), Nimmerfall’s short film traced history forward to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Elysian Park, and Dodger Stadium, as well as to Neutra’s own house in Silver Lake, “projecting” the various built architectures into the site once designated for Elysian Park Heights. Inserted into an architectural installation based on abstract fragments of Neutra’s design, the film was accompanied by a fictional narrative with a script assembled from historic quotes taken from a variety of archival sources. Put into dialogue with one another, the quotes formulated a lively discussion, bringing to life the opposing ideas and heated atmosphere at that specific time. Through this overlap of text, film, and installation, Nimmerfall created a portrait of an actual, yet imaginary, space that offered a range of visions relating to the city’s geographic and cultural past, present, and future.

In conversation with Nimmerfall’s installation, Morgan Fisher’s painting 4 (Silver Gray, Sky Blue, Terra Cotta, Red) displayed an enlarged facsimile of a paint chip showing color combinations from the booklet Exterior and Interior Color Beauty, a publication produced around 1935 by General Houses, Inc. Founded in 1932 by the artist’s father, General Houses aimed to design, sell, distribute, and erect low-cost, high-quality prefabricated homes, in an attempt to reinvent the American homebuilding industry. Howard T. Fisher’s idea was to create a system that made it possible to build houses the way General Motors built cars, setting up a business model where production was substituted by coordination and management; different components were made by different companies and assembled on site, a process intended to make houses affordable for everyone. Although General Houses did not succeed in the mass market, it nevertheless represents one of the first attempts in the U.S. to make modern, industrialized houses available to all.

A color consultant was employed to choose the colors found in Exterior and Interior Color Beauty, in order to create combinations that were considered pleasing, and which would harmonize and coordinate with each other. The combinations formulate a sequence that the booklet calls a “color-flow” for an entire house, rationalizing relationships amongst colors in the realm of the decorative. At the root of such rationalization was the imperative to limit choice, to simplify, and to streamline. With Morgan Fisher’s discovery of the booklet and the actual paint chips, along with his strategic desire to make work that escapes the pitfalls of composition, he created a visual reverberation emanating from industrial production’s intricate and complicated history of standardization.

About the artists

Los Angeles-based artist Morgan Fisher achieved widespread recognition in the early 1970s for his experimental films that deconstructed the language of cinema both as physical material and as a set of production methods and technical procedures. Since the late 1990s, Fisher has focused his attention on the problems and possibilities of painting, by questioning and reframing the subtle conventions of the medium with an equally rigorous self-reflexivity. Recent solo exhibitions were held at the Generali Foundation, Vienna; Aspen Art Museum (2012); Raven Row, London; Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2011); and Portikus, Frankfurt/Main (2009).

Karina Nimmerfall is a Berlin-based, Austrian artist whose projects engage questions of architecture, space, and urban structures, as well as their conditions within cultural systems of representation and various concepts surrounding the construction of reality, memory, and history. Nimmerfall’s work has been presented at Kunstpavillon, Innsbruck (2015); Kunsthaus Graz (2012); Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles (2011); BAWAG Contemporary, Wien; Kasseler Kunstverein (2009); Göteborgs Konsthall and Galerie Stadtpark, Krems; (2008); Bucharest Biennale 3 (2008), and the 8th Havana Biennale (2003).

Yto Barrada + Ecochard

Mathieu Pernot "Le Meilleur des Mondes"

Le Meilleur des Mondes, 2006. Collection of 60 postcards reproductions

« Le meilleur des mondes » est une collection de 60 cartes postales éditées entre les années 1950 et 1980 reproduites et agrandies par l’auteur. Elles nous montrent des villes de banlieue française considérées, à cette époque, comme des symboles de modernité et de progrès. Réalisées pour la plupart d'entre elles en noir et blanc lors de la prise de vue, les images étaient colorisées de façon artificielle en imprimerie. Les couleurs, peu crédibles et souvent disposées de façon maladroite, témoignent d'une représentation fantasmée et utopique de ces lieux.

Narelle Jubelin + Seidler

BOX 1999 Rose Seidler House, Turramurra, NSW, architect Harry Seidler, 1951 cotton thread on cotton mesh petit point rendition, photo by Anna McMahon

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Carmen Argote + Schindler

A Vast Furniture: Part One-MAK Center at the Schindler House

About the Piece

I came to the Schindler House first as a visitor, walking the perimeter of the house as it exists now, a historic architectural space. Through subsequent visits I came to know the space and proposed a project that would involve a sculptural tracing of the walking perimeter at a 1:1 scale. I wanted to use untreated and freshly sanded redwood lumber to contrast the redwood in the house. The work is meant to be a conversation through material and time. The work would need two sites, one being in a desert, as a way to explore that which has been “compromised” by the first site. I wanted to give the Schindler house a horizon again, bringing forward the revolutionary ideas that helped shape the house. The conceiving of this project brought the MAK center for Art and Architecture and the High Desert Test Sites together.

Several things resonated with me as I continued to visit the Schindler House over several months . The first was a photograph of the house after it was built in 1922 within a vast landscape. Second was the idea of the house being conceived while on a camping trip to Yosemite. I became very interested in the shape being influenced by that relationship to landscape. The patios and the way they were used as dining room and living room while the site was a residence expanded my notion of the plan in terms of shelter. The idea of comfort was being challenged through Schindler’s architecture, isolation from the exterior, conventionally equated with comfort, was completely being questioned. Lastly, a quote made by a member of the Friends of the Schindler House about how the site had been compromised. The quote was a proposal that instead of trying to preserve in situ the now deteriorating building ( in the 1970’s), that they should allow it to be demolished, sell the valuable land for a hefty sum, and rebuild the house elsewhere on less pricy real estate.

My personal connection to the house developed through the making of the to-scale cardboard template for the work. After spending a day and a half on the floor, on my knees, fitting the pattern, I felt the house shift. It felt vast and spacious and very tactile. I had been touching its floors for hours and the space somehow felt familiar and known and that brought a new understanding of it. I no longer felt like a visitor after that.

I collaborated with curators Anthony Carfello, Adam Peña, and Aurora Tang to develop events that would allow for different experiences and interactions with the artwork. I wanted to work within Schindler’s architecture and use it as a framework to expand from. These events are extensions of the artwork. The programing helps to connect the two sites and through the connection, to explode the site into a larger conversation about the development of housing and land ownership and notions of the frontier throughout different points in time.

Material: Redwood Lumber, two sites

Jonathas de Andrade "Projeto de abertura de uma casa, como convém"

Projeto de abertura de uma casa, como convém. 2009

model board, 70x80cm
and 11 photographs, 20cm height, variable widths

A destroyed model board of a house from the modernist tropical modernist repertoire is linked to photographs that record the looting and destruction of this home.

The work suggests destruction as a project in the context of real estate hyper-speculation in Latin America.

Jonathas de Andrade "Nostalgia, sentimento de classe"

Nostalgia, sentimento de classe. 2012
345 peças de fibra de vidro, fotografia tamanho 60x84cm, e texto em vinil adesivo.

The project takes the wall panel of a tropical modern house as a departure point. The house, an exemplar of modern architecture in northeastern Brazil, was built in Recife in the 1960’s and was in the final moments of being sold to real estate developers at the time this project was made.

The house is one of the few remaining of its kind – its openness to the street renders it vulnerable in a way that is unthinkable in the current city’s security-obsessed time. It is in fact two homes in one, the symmetrical structure conjoins two families and seamlessly connects public and private life. These ideals embodied by the house seem to resound with the social and political concerns of modernism, whose formal elements accommodated ideologies about communal living and local aesthetics.

The original ceramic tiles are transformed into fiberglass pieces of the same size (15x15cm) but adding to them a new dimension – a volume of 10cm – becoming a hyper-reproduction of the original.

Is nostalgia a sentiment only possessed and consumed by the upper-class?

A large installation text comprised of the writings of Brazilian architect Marcous Vasconcellos and architect/artist Flavio de Carvalho is fully charged with the utopian ideals of their time, characterized with resolute political stances that are uncommon in today’s writing on architecture.

The panel of tiles is partially reproduced and its tiles gradually obstruct keywords of Vaconcellos’s and Carvalho’s texts about architecture, mankind and civilization. As a consequence, both the text and the original building are emptied of meaning and specificities, thus becoming ruins, mimicking and speeding up the natural process of history.

Christodoulos Panayiotou + Barragán

Mármol rosa, 2017

Edgardo Aragón + Barragán

To Ride a Horse, To Be a Horse, 2016