- Residency Show
“Los Bar. It’s a remarkable scale replica of the famous Loos Bar in Vienna, made from MDF and cardboard. By far the most elegant venue in LA,” responded Oliver Payne and Jeremy Shaw to the question of their favorite hangout in town, in a recent interview with LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division). During their residency at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, it occurred to artists and architects Andreas Bauer, Christoph Meier, Robert Schwarz, and Lukas Stopczynski, that if Adolf Loos’s original bar were to be squeezed in its width and height by a ratio of 0.65:1 it would fit perfectly into their backyard studio. That studio was in fact one of the garages at R.M. Schindler’s Mackey Apartments, designed in 1939 by the former student of Loos who himself was “associated with the fringes of the modern movement in architecture. His inventive use of complex three-dimensional forms, warm materials, and striking colors, as well as his ability to work successfully within tight budgets, however, have placed him as one of the true mavericks of early twentieth century architecture” (Wikipedia).
It was primarily Schindler’s perspective on architecture as a host, or even social form, that led these Austrian and German residents— who met for the first time in L.A. while living in a Schindler building—to push their idea of recreating Loos’s bar onsite, challenging their calculation of the 0.65 scale in every sense till it became a reality. Marble became OSB, glass became mosquito mesh fabric, wood became cardboard, and the leather upholstery became air-conditioning filter pads. Some reconciliation (with a disarming laugh) between Loos and the Wiener Werkstätte, in DIY style, with a nail gun from Lowes. Instead of signature cocktails it was all simply on the rocks.
Empty PBR beer cans became cast aluminum ashtrays, self-made e-cigars become sculptures in themselves, with smoking permitted by historical precedent. You could call it occupational therapy or a social sculpture, maybe a manifestation against boredom in Mid-Wilshire, or just a good bar. Los Bar was open for studio visits hosting all kinds of participants, concerts, performances, artworks, and social forms.