Posts Tagged ‘The Netherlands’

Exhibition | A Data Date with Philippe Braquenier

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Competitor at the World Memory Championship in London – 02/12/02013
Created in 1991 by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene, the World Memory Championships is a memory competition in which participants must memorise as much information as possible within a given timeframe



Philippe Braquenier
Palimpsest
The Ravestijn Gallery
Amsterdam
The Netherlands
7 April > 20 May 2017



Belgian conceptual artist Philippe Braquenier’s diverse and thought-provoking photographic projects have included, among others, a series of images of sealed photographic film containers, each enclosing exposures made during the past 10 years that have never been revealed; a run of portraits of kids and teenagers, whose entire life, he observes, seems to be digitally documented; and a set of pictures of buildings and landscapes sectioned off by yellow tape, intended to question our notion of territory.

The title of his forthcoming exhibition Palimpsest – from which the images shown here are selected – is a noun that can be used to describe an ancient manuscript on which the original writing has been effaced or replaced with more recent text. Taking knowledge and legacy as his theme, Braquenier’s photo essay uses architecture, landscape, people, objects and still life to explore the infrastructures of information repositories, libraries and data centres in both natural and built environments, and examines what is required to sustain the archives of human history. The project will be published in book form later this year.

Metas (Swiss Federal Office of Metrology) – Bern, Switzerland – 17/03/02014
FOCS 1, a continuous cold caesium fountain atomic clock located in Switzerland, started operating in 2004 at an uncertainty of one second in 30 million years, thereby becoming one of the most accurate and unique devices in the world for measuring time



Grotte Chauvet – Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, France – 28/08/02015
Sealed off to the public since its discovery in 1994 and granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014, the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France contains the earliest known and best preserved figurative cave paintings in the world, dating from 32,000 > 30,000 BC



Technician – Kista, Sweden – 05/11/02014
Featuring double-thickness bulletproof steel, The Space Station Data Centre is the first modular data hub created by the Swedish broadband provider Banhof. The installation, standing on a base of red lava stones imported from Iceland, functions as a mobile and cheap shelter for servers and uses the low outside temperature to keep them cool



Rue de Vaugirard – Paris, France – 15/11/02014
To familiarise the public with the new unit of measurement established in 1791, a standard metre was installed at sixteen Paris sites in 1796. Only this example, carved in marble to which a brass rule (now missing) was affixed, survives in its original location



Sabey Data Center, Verizon Tower – New York, USA – 14/07/02015
In 2011, Sabey Data Center Properties, the largest privately held developer, owner, and operator of data centres in the United States redeveloped this Manhattan tower creating a 1-million-square-foot facility, and claimed it as the world’s tallest and largest high-rise data centre



Born in 1985, his work having been exhibited internationally at prominent venues such as Foto Museum Antwerpen, The Brussels Royal Museum of Fine Arts, and at Aperture Foundation in New York, Philippe Braquenier ‘Palimpsest’, at The Ravestijn Gallery, is the artist’s first solo exhibition in The Netherlands.

Images courtesy and © Philippe Braquenier


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The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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Exhibitions | Visions of Architectopia

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Archigram (Ron Herron),
Instant City – Local parts, 1970
© Deutsches Architekturmuseum




Constant – New Babylon
Gemeentemuseum den Haag
The Hague | The Netherlands
> 25 September 2016

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Superstudio 50
MAXXI Museum
Rome | Italy
> 4 September 2016

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Yesterday’s Future
Visionary designs by Future Systems and Archigram
Deutsches Architekturmuseum / DAM
Frankfurt am Main | Germany
> 18 September 2016

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Frederick Kiesler. Life Visions
Museum für angewandte Kunst / MAK
Vienna | Austria
> 2 October 2016




Frederick Kiesler,
View of the Raumstadt (City in Space), 1925,
Exposition internationale des Arts
décoratifs et industriels modernes, Paris, 1925
© 2016 Austrian Frederick and
Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, Vienna



Unconsciously coordinated and complementary, a cluster of exhibitions this summer in The Netherlands, Italy, and Austria, celebrates the utopian visions of Constant, Friedrich Kiesler, Superstudio, Future Systems and Archigram, respectively. Once considered outlandish, even silly, the avant garde experiments of these early and late twentieth century architect pioneers is exerting a strong influence on mainstream contemporary architecture and city planning.

Artist, designer, architect, set and exhibition designer with revolutionary, utopian concepts, Frederick Kiesler (1890>1965) was born in a remote corner of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire, (now Ukraine), and studied architecture and painting in Vienna, where, amongst luminaries that included Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, and Adolf Loos, he would become obsessed with the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk. Developing out of his experimental theatre ideas that dissolved the separation between spectators and actors and integrated both in a unified space, in his Raumstadt (City in Space) (1925) Kiesler proposed a model for the city of the future. Having drafted his Manifeste du Corréalisme during a trip to Paris, at the invitation of Marcel Duchamp and Andre Bréton, he wrote that the elements of construction – whether for a city, a chair, or a house – should be a ‘nucleus of possibilities’ developed and transformed in relation to its environment. In 1926, he relocated to New York, where he would eventually install a model of his Endless House at New York’s Museum of Modern Art 1960 show, Visionary Architecture. Meanwhile, Frederick Kiesler. Life Visions at Vienna’s Museum für angewandte Kunst / MAK, is a portal into Kiesler’s complex world and thought processes.

Future Systems (Jan Kaplický + Amanda Levete),
Manhattan with ‘Coexistence (Project 112)’
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1989
© Kaplicky Centre, Prague



With 44 exhibits from each group, Yesterday’s Future: Visionary designs by Future Systems and Archigram at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum / DAM focuses on detailed technical drawings, brightly coloured collages and original models. The works by Czech architect and founder of Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, who emigrated to London in 1968, date from the 1980s and 1990s and are juxtaposed against designs created 20 years before by the Archigram architectural group that comprised Peter Cook, Ron Herron, and Dennis Crompton. The space architecture by Archigram was created around the time of the Moon landing in an era shaped by new beginnings. In contrast, Future Systems designed its self-sufficient, machine-like living capsules for a gloomy world at the height of the Cold War. Whereas Archigram conceived organic architecture that ensured survival in inhospitable environments, Future Systems technologically sophisticated designs were located in more accessible natural surroundings or in concentrated, built-up cities. Intended as suggestions for living, working and for survival at times of social upheaval, the majority of the utopian designs by both groups never left the drawing board.

Installation at the exhibition
Adolfo Natalini Superarchitettura,
Galleria Jolly 2, Pistoia 1966
Photo C Toraldo di Francia
Superstudio 50, MAXXI Museum



Founded in 1966 by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, who were later joined by four others, Superstudio was one of the most influential groups in radical twentieth century Italian architecture. Superstudio 50 at Rome’s MAXXI Museum presents 200 items, ranging from installations to objects, from graphic works to photographs, with publications covering the entire career and development of the group. The exhibition includes the most important drawings, photomontages and installations from The Continuous Monument series (1969), the Architectural Histograms (1969-70) and The Twelve Ideal Cities (1971), projects through which the Superstudio attempted to demonstrate the possibilities and the limits of architecture, and were intended as a critique of contemporary society.

Constant Nieuwenhuys,
Klein Labyr, maquette, 1959
New Babylon, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag



Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920 > 2005), a leading member of the CoBrA group, expressed his ideas for a new world in New Babylon (1974), one of the largest and most visionary projects in post-war architectural history. The vast majority of the works associated with it are in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag collection, but have never before been displayed in all their diversity. Constant – New Babylon at Gemeentemuseum den Haag, including extensive documentation and reconstructions, is one of the largest exhibitions ever presented on this key work.

All images courtesy the respective exhibition venues


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Photography | Brasilia, Utopia, and Inertia

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Chamber of Deputies (Annex IX) #2, 2012



Vincent Fournier
‘Brasilia’
The Ravestijn Gallery
Amsterdam | The Netherlands
16 April > 28 May 2016



Brasilia, the purpose-built federal capital of Brazil, constructed from scratch in the middle of the 1950s by urban planner Lucío Costa with landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx and architect Oscar Niemeyer, is grappling with a dilemma. Planned for around 500,000 inhabitants, in 1960 – the year of its inauguration – there were already almost 140,000 people resident in the city. By 1970 the figure had grown to 537,000. It has now reached 2.5m and is growing at a phenomenal rate of almost 3% per year. The question is how to reconcile the pressing needs of the increasing population with the utopian dream on which the city was founded.

The Claudio Santoro - National Theatre,
ceramic tile panel
by Athos Bulcão, 2012



The torpid atmosphere pervading the narrative in Vincent Fournier’s ‘Brasilia’ series seems to imply that a solution, which deals effectively with the situation, if indeed one does emerge, might be a long time in coming. The anonymous single figure in his Chamber of Deputies (Annex IX) #2, 2012, could be looking for an inspired idea in the landscape beyond his circular window. The image conveys no sense of anticipation, but the bored children photographed at The Claudio Santoro National Theatre appear to have been waiting for some time – the security man, a permanent fixture, is rooted to his position.

The Itamaraty Palace - Foreign Relations Ministry,
spiral stairs, 2012



Having been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987, Brasilia’s extremely strict planning controls ensure that, unlike it’s close contemporary, Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh (still only tentatively listed for UWHS status), which is gradually being eroded and is at risk from the ad hoc mixed development that scars most other Indian cities, and where slum areas have already been established, the pristine Brazilian city’s limits are still easily distinguishable from the expanse of virgin landscape into which it was introduced.

The Itamaraty Palace - Foreign Relations Ministry,
wood and steel panel
by Athos Bulcão, 2012



Inertia stops the energetically curving spiral staircase in Fournier’s photograph of the Foreign Relations Ministry, at The Itamaraty Palace, dead in its tracks, while a busy wood and steel decorative panel at the same location masks a hive of inactivity.

Unesco go so far as to admit that Brasilia is vulnerable to urban development pressure including increased traffic and public transport requirements, but insist that the singular and outstanding value of Lucio Costa’s scheme, ‘which remains wholly preserved, both physically and symbolically’, is not in jeopardy.

The Ravestijn Gallery is showing a selection of 36 photographs from Vincent Fournier’s ‘Brasilia’ series, prints from which form part of the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the LVMH Contemporary Art Foundation in Paris.

All photographs are C-prints on Ilford Fine Art Baryta with white border
All images courtesy The Ravestijn Gallery


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The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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