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London Eight

March 20, 2010

Attended the opening of the London Eight exhibition curated by Sir Peter Cook at SCI-Arc yesterday to find Charles Shaw, mini pita breads, sesame-covered cashews, spinach dip, chocolate-covered pretzels, and some fresh renderings by the likes of CJ Lim, Pascal Bronner, MarcosandMarjan, Yousef Al-Mehdari, Smout Allen, and Johan Hybschmann.

Particularly impressive were CJ Lim’s Short Stories: London in Two-and-a-Half Dimensions; abstract dioramas, collisions of fantasy and reality, model and novel, precious but flexible.  In Short Stories, spatial formulas replace built forms. Lim freezes spaces, or maybe dreams of spaces, leaving the viewer to decipher meaning out of a web of rendered objects, their shadows, and scale shifts; a cultural maelstrom on pause. Isn’t that architecture after all?

CJ Lim, Virtually Venice, 2004

Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, (The Large Glass), 1915-1923

Bernard Tschumi, Parc de la Villette, 1982-1998

Parts colliding, scenes unfolding: surreal or just plain confusing? With layer upon layer, two-dimensions rise to form three. Think of a word printed in a book; think of that page; think of all the pages; think of the book; think of that book open; think of that book closed; think of that book on end; think of that book laying flat; think of that book multiplied; think of that book in a library; think of that library in space; think of that space; where does the architect work within this equation? The library? The text? The movement of the book? Why distinguish?

Johan Hybschmann, The Book of Space: initial studies of perceptual connections of spaces directly referring to the one sequence film: The Russian Ark by Alexander Sukorov. (Read BLDGBLOG’s article on Hybschmann)

Bernard Tschumi, Parc de la Villette, 1982-1998

Why uphold an architecture when a person might be the most interesting part of a room? Often today, it seems to be just by chance that architecture also contains everyday life. Short Stories, in the tradition of Duchamp, Hedjuk, Tschumi, asks us to consider space as a story, representation at the frame-by-frame level, and architecture as container of a nascent potential energy, part of a complex formula to engender storied encounters.

CJ Lim, Sky Transport for London, 2007

CJ Lim, Nocturnal Pig Tower, 2007

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