Final Projects: Group XXVI - ReadyFasterBurnsLonger

  • Residency Show

835 N Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

An exhibition by the MAK Center Artists and Architects-in-Residence.

Schindlertryangeles by Eldine Heep, Oona Peyrer-Heimstätt and Paul Peyrer-Heimstätt was a geometric re-interpretation of the Kings Road House. Elements of the building — walls and lawn — were transformed into segments of triangles, forcing units originally based on a grid of squares into a triangulated grid. The procedure of “triangulation” derives from the science of geodesy, which uses rasters to analyse the surface of objects or landscapes. This analysis of an object requires its adjustment to a standardized norm; it is a method of imposing order. Schindlertryangeles was a metaphor for the power that geometry imposes over everyday life and the natural world. Despite the mathematical similarity of the basic geometrical forms of both the original and the transformed Schindler House, the building unraveled into a so far unknown habitat. Only through the confrontation of two incompatible systems was the viewer conscious of the merciless presence of a schematized architecture. In the combination of architectural body and geometrical raster, of research object and scientific analysis, Schindlertryangeles raised questions not only about the possibility of scientific methods, but also about the obsession and the obligations of analysis. It reflected not solely the human urge to submit the entire world to a scientific examination, but also the primal instinct to control the environment.

Artist Raimund Pleschberger worked on The Extended Ornament, a series of objects, still lifes, and phrases during his residency. While these works did not look like conventional ornaments, they shared some basic properties of “non-autonomous” artworks. They were either dependent on another object to carry them, were symmetrically ordered, had a strong rhetorical component, or served an obviously decorative purpose. For the Final Projects exhibition, Pleschberger showed a photo documentation of “stucco-prototypes” that he had attached to different spatial settings in Los Angeles. These works explored the effects a small sculptural intervention can have within an anonymous urban space. Another body of work Pleschberger exhibited documented ornamental arrangements he had composed using objects of daily life found at the Mackey Apartments. The third component of the Final Projects presentation was a collection of “ornamental” phrases projected onto Schindler’s architecture. These explored the idea of rhetoric as the linguistic counterpart to ornament and attempted to merge the two disciplines into a single form.

Inspired by the anxiety of “watchfulness” pervading the United States, Paul Dallas examined perspective and point of view, as physical and cultural phenomena in the context of the U.S.-Mexican border. In the previous fifteen years, the U.S. had transformed the border region into a highly militarized zone and it had become a testing ground for the latest in surveillance and security technology. The physical wall between the nations had, in effect, become a virtual wall, with the border “fence” relegated to a symbolic function in the landscape. The Twin Towers Project was an attempt to evoke the dissolution of the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico and to question the nature of a border between two countries so profoundly interconnected. Positioned on either side of the border to create a visual cross-border dialogue, the towers became interchangeable icons which could record panoramic sights on one side while simultaneously screening them on the other side for a public audience. This virtual transference democratized surveillance, transforming the activity into a shared event. At a time when the U.S. is closing Border Field State Park to make way for a new “no man’s land” and shutting its doors to one of the last places where divided friends and family can meet without crossing the border, this project attempted to call attention for the need for connective public space.

Interested in the relationship between video/film-recording and natural perception, artist Manuela Mark explored the process of creating identity through the involvement of architecture, design and film. While in Los Angeles, Mark became aware of how people interact with specific environments in the context of their appearance. Using their bodies and certain locations as tools for performing, people create a temporary identity through mimicry or by incorporating the behaviors of fictive roles. Mark’s video project, based on sound recordings extracted from the novel Quicksand by Nella Larsen, related this identification process, employing the first-person narrator in a fiction. The text fragments contained sensual and concrete descriptions of people, rooms, furniture and fabrics, using powerful imagery and phrases. At certain times, the voice-over became the structure for the performances; the rhythms, hesitations and pauses of the reading were reflected in the movements and gestures of the figure in the video. Filmed at the Mackey Apartments, the visual performances were also very much inspired by their locale. The exhibition included photographs responding to the video. While the structure of the video was dominated by the process of reading, the photographs were concrete compositions of body, texture and the architectural structure.