... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

360: What is Architectural Intervention?

The Last Land, Hans Schabus

What is Architectural Intervention? I don't know ; I only just heard of it. In conversations with Andy Broadey at BLANKSPACE I have learned that Architectual Intervention (which from now on I'll call AI to stop RSI calcifying my fingers), is a cross between installation art and architecture. The result can be staggering; huge works of art the size and apparant function of buildings, or subtle; apples placed in windows, or empty gallery spaces with cracks in the floor. Thinking about it I would probably say that When I am Pregnant by Anish Kapoor, which I am so fond of, is AI : Kapoor has intervened with the building to create a seemless mound poking out of the wall. Architectural Infertilisation, or whatever.

Hans Schabus, Monika Sosnowska, Andrea Zittel, Monica Bonvicini, Walead Beshty. Names I have never heard, but which are written in my notebook under the head Architectural Interventionists. Come on google, do your thang. Hans Schabus built and constructed a sort-of mountain sized play-ground/public building. I don't know what it is – it's just a sort of big, awesome, pointless building. That's my art degree training kicking in there : it's a thing, and it's big, and you can walk around inside it. I may not know much about art (or at least can't be arsed writing about it properly) but I know what I like, and (besides cartoons, whiskey, boobs and late 90's American pro-wrestling) that's big follies to be explored.

The Last LandHans Schabus
Monika Sosnowska, as well as having a strangely exciting name, creates strangely exciting work. Her MO seems to be the crushing of steel structures ; staircases, balconies, fences, balustrades, ladders. All looking as though pulled from the wreckage of a massive building collapse, cleaned up, painted, made all shiny. Their surface sparkles new, but their shape screams battered. Her monumental work 1:1 is an entire building in its steel skeleton form, bent out of form but still standing tall, and framed within the massive exhibition space of Shaulager. Incredible.

1:1, Monika Sosnowska
Don't Miss a Sec', Monica Bonvicini
Andrea Zittel's sculptures are room-thing-objects ; Living-Spaces ; also multiplying furniture-box/shelves, and seamless wollen tunics. Monica Bonvicini created a public toilet with two-way mirrored walls, thus guaranteeing her work would be seen the world over on internet forums, comedy websites, and the light-hearted page in free newspapers. The idea of sitting on a toilet surrounded by the busy street around you, able to see people perfectly as you shit, yet unsure that they cannot actually see you, even as they check their hair and pick their teeth in your mirrored walls. She also created a false gallery floor out of styrofoam board. It appeared to be an empty gallery room, until a punter stepped in and put their foot through the floor. The art is created in the empty space as the public walks across the styrofoam and destroys it. Walead Beshty created a similar self-destroying work of art, using glass mirrored tiles on the gallery floor.

And thus ends my short start into observing Architectural Intervention. Good night.

Don't Miss a Sec', Monica Bonvicini

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