Feature, 24.08.2015

By Artists for Artists
Benefit Auction for the Schinkel Pavillon
19.09.2015 + 17.10.2015

Isa Genzken, Weltempfänger, 2013, courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne and Berlin // Robert Longo, Untitled (Tiger Head 3), 2011, Courtesy the artist

Isa Genzken, Weltempfänger, 2013, courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne and Berlin // Robert Longo, Untitled (Tiger Head 3), 2011, Courtesy the artist

The Schinkel Pavillon – which opened in 2007 – is one of Berlin’s most important exhibition spaces for contemporary art. It is currently in urgent need of support for its preservation, expansion, and long-term planning. To this end, 54 internationally renowned artists have donated artworks for the benefit auction, ‘By Artists for Artists’, among them are John Baldessari, Paul McCarthy, George Condo, Fischli/Weiss, Isa Genzken, Andreas Gursky, Philippe Parreno, Cindy Sherman, and Rosemarie Trockel. The auction and preview will take place at Villa Grisebach, followed by a second round in October at Christie’s in London. The funds raised by the auction will generate the financial basis for Schinkel Pavillon that will allow it to maintain the high quality of its programme and carry out its exhibition calendar for the upcoming years. In addition, the exhibition space will expand to include another floor. Through extensive and much needed restoration, the Schinkel-Klause, made famous under Erich Honecker, will be returned to life as a meeting place and an interface for performance, installation, artist’s talks, lectures, and art education. Information about the auction, including a complete list of works, is available at www.schinkelpavillon.de

Villa Grisebach, Berlin
Auction 19 September 2015, 5 p.m. / Preview 7–18 September

Christie’s London
Auction 17 October 2015, 1 p.m.

Interview, 18.08.2015

Summer Reading Picks
Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi

With “Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi”  by Diogo Seixas Lopes we learn about obligations to express, “that there is nothing to express”. An interview with the author, who met Rossi by means of a misdemeanour…

Diogo Titel II

San Cataldo, Photo: Nuno Cera

Italian architect Aldo Rossi (1931–97) is, without question, one of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century.  In your book titled “Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi” – recently published by Park Books and celebrated by the critics – you look at the significant contribution the architect has made to architectural discourse, offering a new perspective on the long cultural history of melancholy. How did you meet Aldo Rossi?

Diogo: My first memory of Aldo Rossi is stealing a pocket monograph of his work published by Gustavo Gili, in the early 1990s. It was a childish stunt, in a bookstore that was setting up shop at the architecture school in Lisbon. I did not know much about architecture, but at least I recognised the name of the architect. Maybe I was drawn by the image of the cover, which I think was the Teatro del Mondo. If I were to believe in certain kinds of biographic explanations, and that is not the case, I met Rossi by means of a misdemeanour.

While the influence of melancholy on literature and the visual arts has been extensively studied, its presence in architecture has been largely overlooked.  Why did you choose to shed light on this specific dark side of architecture?

Diogo: Aldo Rossi frequently mentioned a text by Raymond Roussel, explaining how he had written some of his books. Roussel describes a very methodical process, while his works are anything but clear-cut. A lot of the choices I made, or for that matter anyone else in a similar situation, were of technical nature. Choices of structure and content, choices of form really. True, I was also drawn by a personal proclivity for certain states of mind. And then, the idea to portray Rossi as a dark star of architecture. But, as it is often said, the work should speak for itself.

San Cataldo, Photo: Nuno Cera

San Cataldo, Photo: Nuno Cera

Exploring Rossi’s entire career, you trace out the oscillation between enthusiasm and disenchantment that marks Rossi’s work, and closer explore of one of Rossi’s landmark creations, the Cemetery of San Cataldo in Modena. An emotion built in stone?

Diogo: Your question seems to derive from the famous dictum by Goethe, about architecture being frozen music. I never liked that expression much, it seems too formal and – frankly – too German. Sure, you cannot or – in my point of view – should not discuss the work of Rossi without taking into account a deeply emotional aspect associated to it. That is also what makes his case so interesting, the disruptive side of his personality. But then there is the rest. There are the buildings, the projects, the texts, the drawings and so forth.

Melancholy and Architecture – on Barbas Lopes. As a practicing architect yourself, is there a presence of melancholy in your work? – As the “Teatro Thalia” comes to mind.

Diogo: Originally, I wrote this as a doctoral dissertation at ETH Zurich. It was roughly done at the same time of the project and construction of Teatro Thalia, in Lisbon. Barbas Lopes is a partnership with my wife – Patrícia Barbas – and an architectural office dealing with the basic facts and figures of the trade . There is no underlying theme, just the specific conditions of each work. But contaminations do happen, and we are firm believers in them. In the case of Thalia, by some strange coincidence, they happened to be about ruins and memories retrieved from oblivion.

Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi
Diogo Seixas Lopes
Park Books (2015)
ISBN 978-3-906027-47-0

Feature, 13.08.2015

CAN DESIGN CHANGE SOCIETY?
Symposium and Pop-up Exhibition by “project bauhaus”

PB_Tomas Saraceno_1254x836

Tomás Saraceno, A translucent tropospheric cloud allowing for investigations into the potentials of sky-life. At Reykjavic Marathon, 2007 © Tomás Saraceno, 2007

The centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019 is still a few years ahead, but preparations are already taking place around the globe, demonstrating the ongoing relevance of its avant-garde ideas. „project bauhaus“ – an international initiative by designers, curators and researchers from Europe, the USA and Asia – was recently founded in order to conduct a lively debate on the currency of the Bauhaus. In the five years leading up to the anniversary, „project bauhaus” aims to take critical stock, offering a new question each year, beginning in 2015 with the question: Can design change society?

During an international symposium accompanied by a pop-up exhibition this September in Berlin, „project bauhaus“ provides an open forum to debate this question by placing valid positions in the context of historical models. It puts into question, if the aspiration of the Bauhaus and the classical avant-garde to positively change society through design has been validated – and takes a closer look at goals, roles, design methods, and the social construct in which designers are embroiled today. The participants of the symposium include: Gui Bonsiepe, Lilet Breddels, Bureau d’Etudes, John Grin, Boris Groys, Dorothea Hauser, Reinhold Martin, Philipp Oswalt, Planbude Hamburg, Christian Salewski, Tomás Saraceno, Bernd Scherer, Lara Schrijver, Luigi Snozzi, Margarete Vöhringer, Karin Wilhelm, Zones Urbaines Sensibles a.o.

Pop-up Exhibition: 3 – 20 September 2015 / Opening: 2 September, 7 p.m.
Symposium: 18 + 19 September 2015
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
www.projekt-bauhaus.de

Interview, 11.08.2015

BUREAU N meets BUREAU A in Lisbon

“We are architects, but we also like architecture”, says Daniel Zamarbide, one of the two founders of BUREAU A, a recent – and unusual – transplant to the Portuguese capital, especially while the number of emigrants from the country continues to rise.

BureaA_Collage

BUREAU A’s new space in Lisbon (left) and B.I.G. Biennale des espaces d’art indépendants de Genève (2015), Photo: Dylan Perrenoud (right)

We met with BUREAU A in their new space, a bright and huge old flat located on Rua dos Anjos in central Lisbon, to learn about what brought them to this capital on Europe’s periphery – and what keeps them busy these days.  Earlier this summer, Swiss architectural duo Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide moved their office BUREAU A from Geneva, the heart of Swiss Romandie, to Lisbon. The move wasn’t prompted by business or personal reasons, nor did they develop a passion when visiting the city, as one might suspect. Daniel hadn’t even been to Lisbon before…

It was more of a decision to step out of our comfort zone, in response to the number of highly qualified young Portuguese architects applying for a position with BUREAU A, and because of an interest in Portugal’s traditional craftsmanship, still highly regarded and increasingly preserved. Why not move your studio and come to your collaborators, instead of having them come to you?

What is your story?

We founded BUREAU A in 2012 as a multidisciplinary platform, aiming to blur the boundaries between architectural research and related projects. With a team of seven in Lisbon and one still in Geneva, we’re seeking to expand our activities to diverse programs, ranging from architecture and landscape design to scenography, installations, and self-developed initiatives. You may remember our mountain shelter, a wooden cabin concealed inside an artificial rock and transported to a remote site in the Swiss Alps, which paid tribute to the central character in the novel Derborence by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. Or our intervention in the streets of Hanoi, where mounted a seven-storey mobile performance space and street kitchen on a tricycle. More recently, we finished our Fountain2015 project – a pissoir for a public space in Zürich made out of Portuguese marble.

What is keeping you busy these days?

We are working on more than 10 international projects simultaneously, besides different teaching and lecturing positions, lots of traveling and – very relevant to our work – the constant consumption of architectural culture and history. Leopold is in Paris right now, for our involvement in PerformanceProcess, a project that marks the 30th anniversary of the Swiss Cultural Centre (CCS) in Paris, opening this September. We have been invited to create the spatial design for a 12-week performance programme where each week is dedicated to a different artistic concept. Another project keeping us busy is one that will bring us to Germany: the exhibition Orientations. Young Swiss Architects, a project by the Swiss Architecture Museum, presented by the M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Are you looking to explore any unusual architectural forms?

Oh – we’re obsessed by waterfalls, which will be relevant for a challenging commission by the arc en rêve – centre d’architecture in Bordeaux coming up soon…

BUREAU-A_Spiruline_2014©DylanPerrenoud_small

Spiruline (2014) – A garden folly by BUREAU A in a public park of Geneva – Quoting the water cascades of the Villa Aldobrandini. Photo: Dylan Perrenoud

As for Lisbon, where BUREAU N first arrived five years ago but BUREAU A is still finding their way around, Daniel tells us that being a foreigner new to the city has formed his working process: “Still working as a tourist – without being one.”

We will keep in touch with BUREAU A, in the hopes that we can collaborate very soon – a joint venture may be in the cards…

Review, 21.07.2015

Catalogue Release
VOR ORT – KUNSTPROJEKT SENNESTADT

Sennestadt was an ambitious urban planning project of the 1950s and attracted worldwide attention. The plan by the architect, Prof. Bernhard Reichow, was based on ideas of an »organic art of urban planning«. According to Sennestadt’s urban development the exhibition project »Vor Ort« questions the cur­rent cor­relation between art, the city and the public sphere, using Sennestadt as a model. The freshly printed catalogue features the works by David Adamo, Awst & Walther, Michael Beutler, Andreas Bunte, Christian Falsnaes, Manfred Pernice, Arne Schmitt and Katerina Seda and their site-spe­cif­ic sculp­tures, in­stal­la­tions and ar­tis­tic inter­ven­tions, through which they the­mat­ically explore the char­ac­ter of the city and its in­hab­i­tants.

Vor Ort – Kunstprojekt Sennestadt
Thomas Thiel (Bielefelder Kunstverein), Sennestadtverein (Hg.)
Texts by: Peter Holst, Jutta Kirchhoff, Hans Bernhard Reichow, Horst Thermann, Thomas Thiel
Website

Feature, 16.06.2015

SWISS GRAND AWARD FOR ART
PRIX MERET OPPENHEIM 2015

With this year’s Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) honors four outstanding Swiss culture practitioners: the artists Christoph Büchel and Oliver Mosset, curator Urs Stahel, and the architectural duo Staufer/Hasler.
For the first time, the Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim is presented in parallel to Art Basel and ahead of the opening of the Swiss Art Awards 2015 exhibition.
Film portraits of the Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim recipients will be presented in the exhibition alongside a comprehensive publication with essays and interviews.

PrixMeretOppenheim2015

Credits: Christoph Büchel, Sleeping Guard, 2014, Photo: Piero Cruciatti | Staufer / Hasler | Urs Stahel

FEDERAL OFFICE OF CULTURE

Feature, 28.05.2015

RADICALLY MODERN
Urban Planning and Architecture in 1960s Berlin
Berlinische Galerie
29.05. – 26.10.2015

Destroyed in the Second World War and divided by the Wall, Berlin experienced a veritable construction boom during the 1960s. Inspired by the spirit of a new beginning and technological euphoria, urban planners and architects designed radical new cityscapes for a modern society. Often unjustly criticized as inhumane or unsightly, important examples from this period of architecture have often already been torn down, disfigured by later alterations, or are threatened with demolition today.

BerlinischeCollage

Credit: Georg Kohlmaier, Barna von Sartory, Rollende Gehsteige am Kurfürstendamm, Repro Bildcollage, 1969, © Georg Kohlmaier/Elisabeth von Sartory/Berlinische Galerie, Repro: Markus Hawlik | Josef Kaiser, Großhügelhaus, Bildmontage: Dieter Urbach, 1971, © Dieter Urbach/Berlinische Galerie

The exhibition Radically Modern takes the first look at the context of this architecture’s emergence, examining formal aspects and underlying international influences on the architecture developed in both East and West Berlin. Presenting works and planning by Werner Düttmann, Fehling + Gogel, Walter Gropius, Georg Heinrichs, Josef Kaiser, Roland Korn, Ludwig Leo, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Klaus Müller-Rehm, Ulrich Müther, Hans Scharoun, Manfred Zumpe among others, besides interventions of contemporary artists like Evol, Beate Gütschow, Karsten Konrad, Hendrik Krawen, Friderike von Rauch, Bernd Trasberger, Stephen Willats and others.

BerlinischeGalerie_RadicallyModern

Image: Dieter Urbach, Marx-Engels-Platz, Blick von Südwesten auf Dom und Fernsehturm, Berlin-Mitte, Bildmontage, 1972 © Dieter Urbach/Berlinische Galerie, Repro: Kai-Annett Becker

BERLINISCHE GALERIE

Feature, 26.02.2015

GONZALEZ HAASE AAS – ASSEMBLING
Galerie Jacksons
28.02. – 18.04.2015

Credits, clockwise from left: "Time-Life" Stools, Charles & Ray Eames, 1960s and Light, Acne Studios, Gonzalez Haase AAS, Berlin 2005; "Hamletmachine Chair," Robert Wilson,1987; Luci Sistema Flu Design, Rodolfo Bonetto, 1980s, and Room, Galerie Nordenhake, Gonzalez Haase AAS with Rémy Zaugg, Berlin 2001. Photos: Thomas Meyer

Credits, clockwise from left: “Time-Life” Stools, Charles & Ray Eames, 1960s and Light, Acne Studios, Gonzalez Haase AAS, Berlin 2005; “Hamletmachine Chair,” Robert Wilson,1987; Luci Sistema Flu Design, Rodolfo Bonetto, 1980s, and Room, Galerie Nordenhake, Gonzalez Haase AAS with Rémy Zaugg, Berlin 2001. Photos: Thomas Meyer

Displayed in the form of a conceptual installation, Berlin-based architect duo Pierre Jorge Gonzalez and Judith Haase AAS presents Assembling, selected and assembled design objects from the Jacksons extensive collection of 20th-century designs. A natural extension of their spatial practice and influence within the ‘Galerienhause’, which AAS designed in 2007, the assemblage, created at the invitation of Paul and Carina Jackson, renegotiates and ultimately reassembles how we perceive and dissect objects and space. The collection of objects, ranging from traditional and minimal furniture to reconfigured objects, confronts the notion of ‘assemblage’ in relation to the history of modern furniture design, and explores the relationship between space and object from the perspective of an architect. Among the featured objects are Robert Wilson’s “Hamletmachine Chair” (1987), Rodolfo Bonetto’s Sistema Flu lamp (1980), and Stig Lindberg’s “Snurrand” reversible vase candlestick (1950). Accompanying the exhibition is a publication designed by Frederic Teschner, featuring an essay by Hehl Rainer, which will be launched on the occasion of the opening of Assembling.

GONZALEZ HAASE AAS, GALERIE JACKSONS

Feature, 17.01.2015

ANDROID PARANOID – International Performative Symposium
Alte Kongresshalle, Munich
24.02.2015

I am smart but my brain is run in California… Inspired by the hideouts of the ever-powerful Apple and Facebook in contrast to the new, overtly conspicuous offices of the Federal Intelligence Service in Berlin-Mitte, “Android Paranoid” hosts a journey through current scenarios of the future. Through lectures, performances and film screening, the event examines our vision of the days to come – sterile white rooms, the role of technology – in turn posing the questions: was the future always so quiet? What are the underlying structures, aesthetic parameters and control mechanisms of these scenarios? Do we need a new design, a new system of expression in architecture? Do we surrender ourselves to technology because that which we cannot see, we also cannot design?

AndroidParanoid_Collage

Credits: Andrey Yagubsky, Jan Willmann

Futurologists, architects, critics and curators from around the world will convene to address the ambiguous influence of digitalisation on architecture and our cities, the power of “Big Data,” and smart cities and their vulnerabilities. Among the participants of the discussion: Kristoffer Gansing director of Transmediale, Berlin; Daniel van der Velden of Metahaven Design and Research Studio, Amsterdam; Dr. Jan Willmann from Gramazio Kohler Architects, ETH Zurich; Liam Young, architect and speculative thinker, Princeton, AA from London; together with music by David Letellier and film screenings by the Russian artist Andrey Yagubsky from Moscow.

AndroidParanoid_LiamYoung

Credit: Liam Young

PLAN A, ANDROID PARANOID

Feature, 10.11.2014

ABRISS-ATLAS BERLIN

The Berlin “Brachflächenatlas” was once a playground and inspiration to many architects and builders. Today, it has lost its meaning: nearly all holes in the city’s landscape have been filled; the spaces that once characterised the city have disappeared. For the first edition of Abriss-Atlas Berlin, ten Berlin journalists and authors explore the capital’s mixed architecture and offer a solution for a new Berlin.

Abriss-Atlas-Siegessäule

Photo: Abriss Atlas, Berliner Siegessäule © designpress

With a playfully critical approach, the authors offer up their favourite pieces of the city’s architecture for demolition including such recognisable sites as the O2 Arena, Potsdamer Plats and the Siegessäule. With snappy commentary, Abriss-Atlas joins the ongoing discussion on what has become of Berlin, with the hopes of rediscovering and redefining the city’s wastelands.

Abriss-Atlas_cover

Photo: Abriss Atlas © designpress

DESIGNPRESS