Posts tagged with "Exhibitions":
This weekend, the third and final exhibition of Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture opened at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm. The first two exhibitions took place in Venice, Italy (Spazio Punch) and New York City (Ludlow38), examining the emergence and evolution of cruising practices over time. The third iteration centers on the relationship between the architecture of urban spaces and sexuality.
Cruising is defined as the practice by which homosexual men search for sexual experiences and partners in a public space. Traditionally, cruising takes place in quintessentially urban spaces—city parks, public bathrooms, bathhouses, gyms, car parks, sex clubs, and other designated gathering points. More recently, however, the growing popularity of hook-up apps like Grindr, as well as increased pressure from large-scale property development in many cities, have prompted various adaptations among members of the LGBTQ+ community. The curators of the Cruising Pavilion at ArkDes—Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Rasmus Myrup, Octave Perrault, Charles Teyssou, and James Taylor-Foster—sought to explore these tensions through the work of architects, designers, and artists from around the world.
In a critical acknowledgment of the diversity among those who have historically engaged in cruising, the installation in Stockholm explores it as a pursuit undertaken by groups other than cis-gendered gay men. According to ArkDes, “The exhibition presents cruising as the producer of a non-hetero architecture that closely mirrors the patriarchal nature of the built environment. Cruising is at once revealed as a resistance, and avant-garde and a vernacular, with an active relevance in and beyond LGBTQ+ circles.”
For the display in Stockholm, organizers have incorporated work from a wide variety of designers and firms, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Andrés Jaque's Office for Political Innovation, and S H U I (Jon Wang + Sean Roland). The exhibition is housed in Boxen, a studio gallery for experimental shows that opened at ArkDes in 2018. The Cruising Pavilion will be on display at ArkDes through November 10, 2019.
Opening this Saturday, September 21, the showcase won’t look like a typical, polished art installation at Storefront. Instead, construction materials such as insulation foam and plywood boards will line the exterior, while the concrete panels will be rearranged to make new forms within the gallery’s interior. According to Juaçaba and Cidade, “this layered installation extrudes the facade inward and allows visitors to walk through it, providing a different reading of its panels now that they are no longer forming their intended function.” Juaçaba and Cidade’s interventions will serve as a reminder that spaces are often used differently than they were intended for when originally built, solely because their users vary widely and change over time. It’s both a conceptual and poetic critique, according to the curators, on the resilience of architecture and will force the viewer to think deeper on how societies around the world can ultimately build systems that do work for all. Ministry for All will be on view through December 14 and is the second exhibition in Storefront’s year-long program, Building Cycles, which explores the differences between building as a place and as a process.View this post on Instagram
In a pastoral part of central England known for its stately homes and greenery, burglars made off this week with a valuable, if fairly unusual, piece of art. The theft took place around 4:50 a.m. at Blenheim Palace, a monumental country house in Oxfordshire, just northwest of London. The target of the crime? America, a 2016 sculpture of a fully-functional toilet crafted in 18-carat gold by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.
The toilet, which was previously housed in an upper-level lavatory at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, had been installed in one of Blenheim’s wood-paneled restrooms as part of an exhibition of Cattelan’s work. It was connected to the estate’s plumbing system, enabling visitors to actually use it—rare moments of intimacy with an object valued at well over one million dollars. According to the Sunday Times, overnight security was relaxed because Edward Spencer-Churchill, the display’s organizer, did not consider the toilet a prime target for burglars. As he told reporters when the piece was installed in August, “It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick…Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate.” Neither factor seemed an adequate deterrent for the thieves last week.
The crime caused significant damage to the palace beyond the loss of the art itself, as from photos, it appears the thieves simply ripped the fixture from the wall and left. The ruptured piping spawned a minor flood and one of the doors to the room was completely destroyed. While the display is now cordoned off, the toilet has yet to be recovered, prompting concerns that it may have been melted down. Authorities claim that a group of offenders used two vehicles to carry out the burglary but have only arrested one 66-year-old man in connection with the crime.
Cattelan himself highlighted the irony of the incident, pointing out that he created America to give ordinary people direct access to an extraordinary object. As he told The New York Times this weekend, “America was the one percent for the 99 percent, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action. I wish it was a prank.”