mercoledì 12 settembre 2012

Yona Friedman

without building

14 September - 28 October,

Lorenzo Benedetti
From 15 September to 28 October the Middelburg Foundation for Visual Arts (SBKM) will present Yona Friedman and Jean-Baptiste Decavèle’s exhibition Architecture without building at De Vleeshal in Middelburg.
The architect, theorist and author Yona Friedman (b. 1923 in Budapest) is one of this and the previous century’s leading thinkers on the history of architecture. At a time when urban planning, mobility, globalisation and migration were increasingly prominent issues, he developed such visionary concepts as ‘mobile architecture’, ‘The Spatial City’, ‘feasible utopias’ and ‘self-planning’ – all of them still very topical. For some years now he has been working with the photographer and filmmaker Jean-Baptiste Decavèle (b. 1961 in Grenoble), who studies representations of memory.
The guiding principle of Architecture without building is ‘start with the content’. There is a need to ‘be able to show something’, and this in turn requires a space, an architecture. Architecture without building sets out to ‘be at the service of something else’, without adapting to De Vleeshal. Spaces and art exhibits both have their limitations, and Architecture without building seeks to bridge the gap between them.
Iconostasis museum
Friedman’s design for De Vleeshal is a three-dimensional module consisting of 500 rings, a spatial structure in which works of art can be displayed. He calls this an ‘iconostasis museum’. The architectural features of the Iconostasis are not permanent, but can be used in various ways for various purposes, and removed, shifted, altered or renewed at any time.
Part of the Iconostasis will be located outside De Vleeshal, in the courtyard next to the town hall, thus forming an extension of De Vleeshal’s exhibition space. The content will not have to adapt to the space – at least not immediately. After the exhibition the Iconostasis will become part of the collection, and can be used as an additional space for exhibitions, meetings, presentations and other projects.
Yona Friedman’s architectural projects have often revolved around the notion of ‘the museum’. In the late 1960s, for instance, he produced a design for the Pompidou Centre based on a structure that would change over time. His relationship with the exhibition and the public is extremely important to him, which is why his project also focuses on the public as an element that helps shape ‘the museum’, De Vleeshal.
Input from Middelburg
During the first half of the exhibition the Iconostasis will be ‘filled’ with videos by Jean-Baptiste Decavèle. After that, Yona Friedman will invite artists, entrepreneurs, students and others in Middelburg to come up with ideas for the ‘iconostasis museum’. Their response will determine how long this input will be left in place until it makes way for other contributions. This will revive the original function of De Vleeshal – once Middelburg’s indoor meat market – as a place of social encounter where ideas emerge and are passed on.
Debate on architecture
At 3 p.m. on Friday 14 September in the Brasserie at De Drvkkery, before the opening of Architecture without building, SBKM / De Vleeshal will for the third time organise a new edition of the D/A/C project, a round table discussion between artists and entrepreneurs. How can these two groups interact for each other’s benefit? The starting point for the debate will be the exhibition at De Vleeshal – the product of a partnership between an architect (Yona Friedman) and an artist (Jean-Baptiste Decavèle).
During the debate various people will set out their views on architecture, and how it can bring artists and entrepreneurs closer together. The artists taking part in the debate see themselves as ‘idea sponsors’, breaking away from traditional links between art and business and moving beyond the notion of sponsorship as simply a way of boosting corporate image. The added value that artists can bring to companies is their creativity.
Speakers will include Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, visual artist Dora Stiefelmeier, Lorenzo Benedetti (director of De Vleeshal), Dick Anbeek (director of De Drvkkery), visual artist Piet Dieleman and Bert van de Linde (director of the building firm Scheldebouw).
For this series of discussions, which have also been held in Rome and Paris, RAM (RadioArteMobile) has created the now registered brand D/A/C (Denominazione Artistica Condivisa or DAC, echoing Italy’s DOC quality assurance system for wines) so that the dialogue on the various ways of looking at a product will have a ‘shared artistic designation’. Guest speakers at the earlier discussions in De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal have included visual artists Gert Robijns, John Körmeling and Marinus Boezem, Connie De Lange (the owner of the local restaurant Vriendschap), Hans Codée (director of the nuclear waste processing and storage organisation COVRA), Bart Spaapen (director of the Norton Armaturen installation firm) and Annemieke Stallaert (representing the DELTA utility provider).
Yona Friedman (b. 1923 in Budapest) has had his work exhibited at many leading international art venues (the Lyon Biennale, the Yokohama Triennale and the FIAC in Paris in 2011, the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2003, The Drawing Center in New York in 2007 and Documenta in Kassel in 2002). He is a unique figure who ignores the boundaries between disciplines. Friedman has written and provided drawings for more than fifty books on his research into architecture, ecology and language. In the past ten years, France’s Centre national de l’Edition et de l’Art imprimé (CNEAI) has built up a close and fruitful relationship with him, resulting in a number of exhibitions: Dare to make your exhibition (2007, Chatou), Gribouillis, models scale 1/1 (2007, Chatou), Tu ferais ta ville (2008, with the CNEAI and Arc en rêve / CAPC, Bordeaux) and Yona Friedman, Improvisations: films d’animation (1960-1963) et oeuvres sans planification (improvisations: animated films and unplanned works, 2009, in partnership with the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and the CNEAI).
Jean-Baptiste Decavèle (b. 1961 in Grenoble) has had many exhibitions in Paris, Ivry-sur-Seine, Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver, Rome, New York, Ile de Vassiviere, Antrewp, Lyon, Cape Town… and has also taken part in video festivals and presentations in Rome and France. He received the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs award in 1999 for his project Entre Ciel et Mer, Voyage Aide-Mémoires and again in 2001 for Nostalgie, la Demeurance et l’Icône, with south-african writer Tatamkulu Afrika.
His work has always been related to collaboration: Hervé Le Tellier (french Oulipien writter), Elina Löwensohn (franco-american actress), Michaël Lonsdale (french actor), Nico Docks (Belgium artist).
Since many years now he ‘s been sharing time with the architect Yona Friedman in a very close exchange inbetween architecture, films, archives, photography, representation of spaces, landscapes and ideas. Now, his work is devided inbetween a very strict and precise film practise and multiple process in which he proposes and generates exhibitions, like Du Breuil in Paris, ciap in Ile de Vassiviere, De Vleeshal in Middelburg, that he considers as experimental stages and displays that he documents as potential unrealised films for which each intervenant, each person who is part of the creative process, from the technician to the curator, to the guest artists are potential narrative figures of their own functions and fictions.
Each exhibition he participates in is also done for him to build and produce very specific spatial as well as architectural contexts for his films to be shown.

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