Mu-Chieh Chen (TW)
Over the course of the last three weeks Mu-Chieh has been building, adding and changing a pavilion. A concrete slab on the pavement is the pavilion’s natural base. She ask people to donate and exchange any kind of material, which she combined with found material and beams from Praxis. Next to people donating material, Mu-Chieh asks them to move elements in order to change the pavilion to their needs. “I like the unfinished quality, some things might be stolen and everyone can add material and ideas. It’s against my nature: every day I need to think about it and therefore the process is quite slow, but I like it.”
In order to research vernacular pavilions around the world, Mu-Chieh entered ‘pavilion’ in Google Translate. She searched for pavilions that engage with their surroundings. She selected six simple pavilions of which she gathered information through digital and printed resources, but also instructed friends to take pictures. There are two examples from Taiwan, one in India, one in Tibet, another in Japan and the last in the USA.
By deducing the pavilions’ most poignant qualities, she constructed a list of qualities she would like her own pavilion to have: it should have a social function, an interesting structure, flexibility, movability and hospitality. How would this work out in front of the Sandberg Instituut? (email@example.com)
Julia Retz (BR)
An Apartment for a Gymnastic Teacher
“I work from one image. I look at the image over and over again and was very loyal to it. I am opening that image by considering all its elements, each has its specific knowledge that defines space: things within a context.” The work is a juxtaposition of space and elements: how mixing spaces might happen.
This approach results in an interior. Whether the elements can be used remains unclear: the interior adheres to absence rather than presence. It is site specific, but the elements could also be installed on a different location. “At first I searched for a method to merge image and space, but there is no logic to it: I look at what is necessary in the space. With the elements I screen write space.”
What a still image or a temporary installation cannot show, movies do: they hint at the characters surrounding the elements and draw the visitor into the work. They show how the material reacts in time, take for instance the residue of the copper ring to skin: a thin black line. The lady in the picture also wears a ring. Julia selected each of the element’s materials delicately. She researches their sensibility and tactility, but also what it might trigger in the visitor. With her work Julia seduces the viewer to open up to spaces and tune into their hidden narratives, fictive or real. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Laura Holzberg (DE)
Aligning, Unfolding, Building, Digging, Grouping, Pulling
The objects in the pictures perform themselves. The titles reveal the activity, the movement that created the piece. The video reveals that the work is very physical, that it was not realised by a group but that Laura moved the oversized pieces herself.
Action is the method. Laura intervened in Amsterdam’s construction sites, empty lots and wasteland. She sees these bare grounds as playgrounds. For Aligning, Unfolding, Building, Digging, Grouping, Pulling Laura searched for plots where Amsterdam is expanding.
During her studies, Laura participated in a re-enactment workshop with Stroom (The Hague) in the context of its exhibition programme Expanded Performance. Lara Almarcegui (a Rotterdam-based contemporary artist) took Studio for Immediate Spaces to work on building sites. Both of these events fed Laura’s thinking towards her thesis, which deals with a research into concepts in performance art that could be attributed to spatial practice.
As an architect, Laura looks for new ways and tools to deal with space. She physically rearranges indeterminate land. The residues of the exercises in public space are left behind as a possible conversation with a by passer. (email@example.com)
Christine Just (DK)
The Potential of Demolition
The perfect destroyed space, what could that be? Flying Walls, From Wall to Floor, A Peek through Floor to Floor: Christine names the qualities of new spaces formed by destruction and records them in detailed sketches. The sketches function as legends for the pictures of a destroyed model. The model was initially based on a recently demolished building in Rotterdam, but Christine has elaborately adapted it to become a building that is interesting to destroy. She filmed herself demolishing it with a pavement tile.
The pictures on the table show the stages of demolition while the colour- coded hand drawn plan illustrates the displacement of walls, doors, pillars and floors during the process of demolition. “One thing that I have learned, if you’re stuck, you just have to do something with it. If necessary, destroy it!”
Buster Keaton’s film Steamboat Bill (1928) is a key visual reference for Christine’s work: in the film a building’s façade collapses all around Keaton – the scene became a classic stunt in slapstick films. Christine saw the film at the beginning of her research. Working on the model and the destruction film, it clicked: “This is how I want my model to be demolished.” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dennis Schuivens (NL)
Pending Ground is a research project after a strip of unintentional collective land in North West Groningen and its creators. While visiting the area for a kick-start graduation workshop, Dennis stumbled upon this strip and was fascinated by its indeterminate state and its unintentional creation. The inhabitants, whose land ends at the strip, have ignored the land registry’s hard borders. Over the course of generations, the edge ‘happened’ to become a 53-meter-long-variable-in- width nobody’s land.
Four parties enclose the strip: one farmer and the families in the houses on Dijksterweg 1, 5 and 7. The strip was an entry point through the backdoor to interview everyone. Dennis learned that the shoddy borders could be assigned to the lack of relations between the neighbors. The strip serves as a buffer for their privacy needs. About the social structures that are at the birth of the anonymous piece of land Dennis says: “I’m researching this piece of land, but also want to intervene, to do something that brings these people together.”
On Saturday June 22nd the surrounding parties signed a covenant by which they agreed on the strip’s collective use for three months (with the possibility of a yearly renewal. Dennis’ initial offer to buy the 18 m2 strip — worth 147 euro — was not accepted by the farmer). Dennis asked everyone to contribute to the stock of the strip in order to harvest the strip’s produce for a shared meal at the 22nd of September, when the covenant officially ends. The strip’s stock for this season consists of: pumpkin plants, fertilizer, a wheelbarrow, rolls of wire, chicken wire and rocket plants. With thanks to Wongema. (email@example.com)
Haruka Uemura (JP)
Via a small door you enter a utopian space. A location without scale made from milk. This community consists of houses, a living situation and a research into the relation between a house and the surrounding landscape. The milk-plastic caves reminisce of vernacular architecture.
Haruka researched the use of dairy products in The Netherlands. Since she is
Japanese, she is not accustomed to the omnipresence of dairy. The current debate on dealing with the overproduction and resulting waste of dairy sparked her to search for possibilities to make use of the milk waste.
Isamu Noguchi’s Moere Mountain — a 62-meter high mountain made out of waste — provided a pivoting point in her thinking about using waste as building material. “Places used to be dirty; nowadays we only sit in our clean apartments and keep the dirt away from our houses. If we want to live together with so many different people on small areas, we have to get our hands dirty. I want to research how to bring fungus and waste material into the field of construction.” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sahar Mohammadrezazadeh (IR)
The five dual videos (approximately three minutes each) are descriptions and visualisations of locations that Sahar experienced under self-hypnosis. In Iran where Sahar is originally from, the power of the mind is believed in more strongly than in the West. The practice of self-hypnosis is normally paired with a strong diet and extensive physical exercise to have the right physique in order to undergo the hypnosis.
In No Space, Sahar undergoes self-hypnosis in places that everybody knows: public or semi-public spaces such as a tunnel, basement, forest, a staircase. Under hypnosis one actively notices other things, qualities we normally ignore: there is no logic; there is no judgment, measurement, weight, light or colour (for instance, under hypnosis the eyes do not perceive colour, because that is a quality that is understood by the mind, therefore the visualization videos are in black and white). After the first four films, Sahar made the closing chapter, which is set at a canal. She tries to open up to the space, but this time not under hypnosis: “It is not that sophisticated, but I had a lot of fun.”
The small screens show Sahar under self-hypnosis, and the large projection shows visualisations of what she experiences: an attempt to bring about the qualities we do not normally connect to. To create these visualisations she uses as little material as possible: the materiality of the film is linked to the qualities of the space she describes. She therefore uses her hands, paper, paint, fabric, oil, clay, water and smoke. (email@example.com)