Photo: Johannes Schwartz
Exhibition | NAI Rotterdam - Gallery 1 | 22/06/13-20/10/13
According to the philosopher Patrick Healy, a ruin is more than ‘a pile of stones scattered on the ground’. The ruin is a symbol of the fact that everything is erased by time. In other words, the ruin refers not only to the inescapable past, but also to an equally ineluctable future. The New Institute is introducing a summer programme from 21 June 2013 under the title The Ruin. This marks the transition to the coming cultural year, in which The New Institute will make use of various projects to give form to the multi-faceted ambitions.
Besides eight presentations The Ruin consists of a parallel programme in which old questions, radical design practices, worn-out ideas and even the claim of a new Industrial Revolution! All in an awareness that everything passes and then comes back again, but in a slightly different guise.
The programme of The Ruin comprises two parts. The first consists of fragments of recent exhibitions by sister organisations, each of which touches on an aspect of the future agenda of The New Institute:
The Machine – Designing a new industrial revolution
The industrial revolution is regarded as the revolution of the engineers, but today it is designers who are heralding a new revolution. By now they form part of much larger networks that enable them to develop new materials or their own methods of production and innovative distribution systems. The Machine shows how tomorrow’s machines and the related methods of production will shape our lives and our social system. The Machine was presented in an earlier version at C-mine Genk and TAC Eindhoven. The Machine is produced by Design Hub Limburg. Curator: Jan Boelen/ Z33.
Playboy Architecture, 1953–1979
Playboy Architecture shows how architecture and design were used by the Playboy magazine as important instruments for the development of a new identity for the American man. Playboy was to be of crucial importance for the way in which (interior) architecture developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Playboy Architecture was previously presented in NAiM/ Bureau Europa in Maastricht on the basis of collaboration with Princeton University (NY). Curators: Beatriz Colomina, Director, Ph.D. Program in Architecture, Princeton University with Britt Eversole, Federica Vannucchi, Margo Handwerker and others students at the Princeton University School of Architecture.
Werkstadt Vienna – Design Engaging the City
The exhibition shows how traditional materials, craftsmen and craft industries from the city of Vienna form a breeding ground for new designs. Werkstadt Vienna shows not only what happens when young designers are confronted by traditional techniques, but also how important local and regional production methods are as an engine of innovation. Werkstadt Vienna is an exhibition of the Vienna Design Week in collaboration with MAK – Museum of Applied Arts/ Contemporary Art in Vienna. Curator: Sophie Lovell, Studio Makkink & Bey.
The scale models of the Rotterdam City Hall are almost 100 years old. They embody new forms of historiography and the creation of an architectural canon. Besides the fact that they are monumental objects, their history is also remarkable. Initially they were showpieces of the Rotterdam City Council to showcase an urban ambition. The negative opinion on the City Hall in the press and the emphasis on Rotterdam as the city of modern architecture led to a disqualification, and the scale models were seriously neglected. In 2005 they were incorporated in the collection of The New Institute. Curator: Ellen Smit.
Ever since the second half of the twentieth century, jewellery design has been one of the most eye-catching disciplines in the Netherlands. Operating outside the demands of a large-scale market and the limitations of industry, and thanks to the remarkable talent of such designers as Gijs Bakker, Emmy van Leersum and others, in those years the item of jewellery was to become the reference point for renewal and experiment in the Netherlands. Marjan Unger was invited to present a selection of jewellery within the context of The Ruin and thereby to reveal the working method and perspective of this group of ‘self-producing’ designers.
Deaf and Unstable
The Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF) is an interdisciplinary biennial in the field of art, technology and society. DEAF profiles art and culture as the engine of social renewal. DEAF was set up by V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media, an interdisciplinary centre for art and media technology in Rotterdam. The Sentient City Survival Kit will be presented in the context of The Ruin. This project includes a collection of instruments for survival in the ‘sentient city’ of the near future. The Sentient City Survival Kit is a project of Creative Capital. Artist/architect: Mark Shephard.
Evil Media Distribution Centre
Matsuko Yokokoji & Graham Harwood (YoHa) invited 55 people to choose a so-called grey medium and to write a short text about it. This text was then presented together with the object in a cabinet of curiosities that at the same time evoked associations with a distribution centre. Evil Media Distribution Centre is a response to the book Evil Media (2012) by Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey. In that book the authors argue for a broader notion of media and a deeper, more complex understanding of how these grey media influence the way we behave, think and perceive. The installation was previously shown at the Transmediale (Berlin, 2013).
Treppen, High Rise/Down Fall
A few years ago the photographer Johannes Schwartz produced a series of evocative images of what can be described in the first instance as ruins. It was only later that they turned out to be recent buildings in Egypt that will probably never be finished because of the drop in the volume of tourists. These ‘intermediate constructions’ refer not only to the classic etchings of Piranesi or to Freudian dream interpretation in which interior features such as stairs are given sexual connotations. They also bear witness to the direct and dynamic relation between architecture, urban planning, landscape and the economy.
The second part of The Ruin goes into the themes of the presentations in more depth. It has the character of a magazine with films, lectures, performances, salons, master classes and interventions. For instance, on 3 July Beatriz Colomina (Princeton University) will talk about the background to Playboy Architecture.
In addition, the programme includes more autonomous elements, such as the presentation of the book MVRDV Buildings by MVRDV and designer Joost Grootens on 4 July, while on 9 July The New Institute will be full of the latest interactive installations during Test_Lab (in collaboration with V2_). For the full programme with all activities, names and dates click on www.thenewinstitute.nl.
Exhibition design: Frank Bruggeman and Eric Roelen on the basis of the preserved design for ‘Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture’; graphic design: Karel Martens, Marc Hollenstein.
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