Celebrating it’s own existence
KAPKAR/ TT-C2P was my contribution to the seventh São Paulo International Architecture Biennial, produced at the invitation of the NAi. It formed part of the Tangible Traces exhibition which later travelled to Vienna, Hongkong and Jakarta.
Unlike exhibitions of art or design, an exhibition of architecture never displays any ‘real’ architecture, only representations of this in the form of photographs, models, renderings or films. This is an unfortunate but logical consequence of the nature of the architectural medium.
KAPKAR/TT-C2P, however, is not a representation of space, but a real space, developed for an exhibition of architecture.
location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
dimension: 620 x 290 x 230 cm
material: recycled construction plywood, flatscreen, dvd
exhibtion: 7th Sao Paulo International Architecture Biennial
November 10 – December 17
contribution the Netherlands: ‘Tangible Traces’: Frank Havermans, Hella Jongerius, Claudy Jongstra, Onix, Alexander van Slobbe
venue: Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Parque do Ibirapuera
curator: Linda Vlassenrood
travelled to: Hong Kong, Jakarta, Vienna, Arnhem
production Sao Paulo: Stijn Kemper
production Jakarta, Hong Kong: Suzanne de Jong – Kole
manufacture: Studio Frank Havermans
movie: Stijn Kemper
music video: Maarten van der Vleuten
exhibition design: Jurgen Bey
photography: Ben Cheung, Studio Frank Havermans
on display: SM’s Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 2011
7th Sao Paulo Inernational Architecture Biennial 2007
The installation was made entirely of recycled, construction plywood and wooden struts. The structural ‘drawing’ which features as a kind of scar tissue on the outside is a direct product of its function, drawing the seating and sight lines outside as it were.
When the NAi asked me to produce a new work especially for the biennial, a work which they planned to film during its making, I quickly decided to make a cinema that could show the process of its making. Thus I created a space, a piece of architecture, that was designed solely to present itself and which functions only to present itself, celebrating as it were its own existence, and displaying this existence to the world in the seclusion of its interior.
In essence, of course, this installation also connects with the phenomenon of the architecture biennial, for these are events whose primary purpose is to allow the architectural world to display its capacities primarily to the architectural world.
Events which also celebrate their own existence. The cinema makes grateful use of this fact and thereby establishes a link with a tendency in architecture to be less concerned with a building’s use, as the primary criterion in its design, and more with its iconic value to the client and the environment.
The installation comprises a cinema for two people in which only one film is shown. At the exhibition it appeared to be an autonomous object that emitted sound. Walking around the installation, however, revealed that it was actually an architectural space with an entrance at the back. On the other side of this space was a screen with moving images. Anyone tempted by these to enter the space discovered they could sit to the left or right to watch the film. This changed the space into a piece of furniture. Users ‘hovered’ above the ground and their surroundings seemed to vanish. Briefly isolated from all reality or virtuality at the exhibition, all their attention focused on the images and sounds. The base of the installation was open and slowly ‘sucked up’ the surroundings, which remained tangible without being seen.
The 22-minute film shown in the cinema comprised a succession of thousands of speeded-up images. The NAi obtained these by installing a webcam in my studio, which took a photo every 100 seconds, day and night, during the period in which I was making the installation. This film is concentrated evidence that the actual making of an installation is an intensely physical process. The actions appear endless, particularly when you realize that I made many more actions in the other 99 seconds between two photos.
The video part of the installation (here without the specially composed music by Maarten van der Vleuten)
Hong Kong Design Week 2008, in conversation with Bert Dirrix and Paul Diederren, left Ole Bouman