Presented by SUSHISAMBA, Graffiti Gone Global is an exhibition planned as part of 2009 Art Basel Miami Beach – featuring a selection of work from “today’s top street artists”. The exhibit will run from December 4th through December 6th.
In an attempt to improve upon the typical white-walled gallery space, SUSHISAMBA has commissioned Miami-based architect HOX to design a Brazilian favela-inspired structure for the space – seen in the images here.
Now, from what I can tell HOX has no website [ridiculous, I know – these ninjas aren’t H&deM], so information is pretty limited on the installation being created – but I thought these images were promising. The stepping/terracing cubes and box-like forms, suspended in the space and pushing out into the exhibit, could be an interesting abstraction of the favelas – and for a dynamic addition to the exhibit.
All that said, HOX’s lack of internet presence has me thinking they might be imaginary…
[images courtesy pinkcomma gallery]
Our ninjas over at pinkcommagallery in the Bean’s South End have announced the opening of there newest exhibit – which is really 2 shows in 1! The double feature – “Heroic” and “Publishing Practices” – opens next Friday, September 18th – starting off both the third fall season of the pinkcomma gallery, and the opening of the current South End Open Studios weekend [which I hope you Boston-based readers don’t sleep on].
“Heroic” explores the concrete structures that were instrumental in the remaking of Boston in the late 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the 1970s. Whole districts and vast infrastructural improvements appeared in a matter of years, fashioned from concrete to serve the needs of government, hospitals, universities, housing, and the financial sector. What were once hailed as heroic visions have now often become perceived as hubristic and brutal. The gallery has enlisted various experts to weigh in on the topic, including architect Michael McKinnell (Boston City Hall), architect Tad Stahl (the State Street Bank), historian Douglass Shand-Tucci, architectural materials specialist Kiel Moe, critic Michael Kubo, structural engineer Paul E. Kassabian, and young architects Christina Crawford (Utile, Inc.) and Eric Howeler (Howeler + Yoon Architecture). Coupled with the works represented visually in the show, these essays frame a series of provocative questions surrounding the heroic era and its powerful and controversial concrete architecture.
“Publishing Practices” investigates the history and influence of the architecture book as an operative device. Many of the most prominent architects of the last century have been equally prolific publishers who have seen the book as a strategic tool in the architect’s arsenal, deployed for its capacity to act independently of the constraints of other forms of architectural production. Guest curator Michael Kubo has surveyed over 150 architects and academics to gauge the impact of these and other publications within the field. Coupled with data from this survey, a graphic timeline of canonical architecture books in the past century reveals the history of publications as an alternative form of architectural practice, parallel to and frequently more agile than the production of work more typically labeled architectural.
Friday, September 18, 2009, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
September 18 through October 15, 2009
81B Wareham Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118
We’ll see you there [don’t worry about ‘seeing’ us – we’re ninjas, after all].
This weekend I made it out to NYC for the Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward exhibit at the Guggenheim. I had hoped to get there sooner, as the exhibit closed on Sunday [making a Saturday visit, the second-to-last day, quite crowded] – but I couldn’t, and so I’m sorry for talking about it here on AMNP now that the exhibit has ended. Those of you who were in or around the NYC area and slept: sorry, but you missed out, my ninjas. You’ve got to be on top of this kind of thing.
While any student of architecture – and many casual observers of the profession, especially here in the US – are pretty well acquainted with the work of FLW, I think that even Wright enthusiasts would have been impressed by the collection on display. For starters – it’s Wright’s work, exhibited in one of his most famous buildings. I think that’s pretty dope. Aside from the collection, though, the collection of work was really quite impressive to see. Unlike seeing his work in a book, a lecture hall, or on a computer screen, his actual sketches + drawings – when seen in person – demand a whole new level of attention. Now, I’m no huge fan or Wright necessarily, nor do I think that I learned a great deal of new information about his work and concepts from the exhibit – but being able to examine so much of his work, close up and in detail, was a fantastic experience. And in addition to his own drawings, sketches, and models, the Guggenheim commissioned a number of new models built by Situ Studio – which were fantastic, especially those of his un-built projects. From a sectional model of the Pittsburgh Point Park Civic Center to an exploded, large scale model of the Herbert Jacobs House, they were stunning and really added an extra level of intricacy to the entire exhibit. I hope many of you were able to get there before it closed.
One thing that jumped out at me, which I had never spent much time considering before, is how unsuccessful Wright actually was with dealing with the automobile in many of his more grandiose projects. He talked of terracing, of long beautiful horizontals meant to reflect the midwestern plains, and of adding nature to buildings by integrating landscaping everywhere in many of his large scale proposals. But, looking at his designs for projects like the Living City and the Pittsburgh Point Park Civic Center, it struck me that Wright’s parking proposals weren’t particularly revolutionary. Yes, he spiraled the ramps around the entire proposed project, or added some other bit of visual interest – but at the end of the day, this sequestered the project from its surroundings in way that we now know to be undesirable [the suburban mall, etc].
In visiting the exhibit, and realizing this about his work, I was surprised that I hadn’t really considered this before – I suppose that when I was younger and my interest in Wright was greater / I was studying his work in school, I was much more focused on the architecture itself. Even when looking at his expansive planning proposals and the Living City, it was more about vision and concept [and aesthetic, I assume] to me than feasibility. Now, seeing the work again, I was struck by how many of these concepts he was working on seem to have been somewhat achieved – and how problematic [and terrible] many of them are. Sprawl. Car culture. Decentralization – with big centralized ‘public’ structures [the mega-mall, the mega-church]. That said, Wright also envisioned people living with the land, in a more agrarian and sustainable way – in addition to the invention of some kind of futuristic cars, and those helicopter-things he was always drawing.
Regardless of my opinion of his work, however, the exhibit was extraordinary.