—–> Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 @ 8pm
Empty Vestibules: Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, and Spaces
Organized by Chris Domenick
With presentations by Becky Brown, RH Lossin, and Gideon Fink Shapiro
Film still from Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou (1965)
*Images from Becky Brown’s “Walls, Signs and Furniture”
How does our theoretical understanding of space influence the way we walk through it?
Projecting our desire onto/into space, we rely on ‘image’ to physically and conceptually locate ourselves. Our subjective orientation depends on an idiosyncratic combination of phenomenological, theoretical, historical, and physical experience of interior space. When the realm of ‘the physical’ originates in the textual or the virtual, what dependable source can we look towards to find grounds for understanding our current location? In this series of presentations, we will hear three diverse perspectives on some of these questions as they relate (and do not relate) to each presenter’s discipline:
1. Becky Brown will present her project “Walls, Signs, and Furniture.” Is it that “there are pictures because there are walls” (Perec)? Or that “independent of signs, space didn’t exist and perhaps never had existed” (Calvino)? “Walls, Signs and Furniture” assembles a set of images to illustrate fragments of text from Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces. It considers dynamics between pictures, walls, signs and the eclectic and shifting powers of image and space to determine each other. How much does the wall or room inform the picture on or inside it? How much does the picture inform the wall or room inside or within it?
Becky Brown makes painting, collage, sculpture and installation out of existing images, objects and texts. She collects, takes apart, reassembles, adds, subtracts and manipulates in the interest of producing growth, decay, layering, juxtaposition and sedimentation. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College in 2012 and has recently exhibited in New York City; Delhi, India; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Vienna, Austria; Berlin, Germany and Lodz, Poland. She was born in Manhattan, moved to Brooklyn and currently lives in the Bronx.
2. Gaston Bacehlard’s seminal work The Poetics of Space was the first attempt at a phenomenology of the poetic image and is also considered a classic work of architectural theory. It has been continuously in print since 1958. It’s English translation (1964) has sold over 80,000 copies. It is also a reactionary, bourgeois piece of shit. In a short talk, R.H. Lossin will explain why the book is still on everyone’s shelf and why it shouldn’t be; why the cultural past does count; why the image is never isolated; and why an anti-Bachelardian conception of space is particularly important now.
R.H. Lossin is a librarian and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in The Nation, New York Arts Magazine, and The Huffington Post and she is a regular contributor to The Brooklyn Rail.
3. Gideon Fink Shapiro will explore the spaces conceived by the French architect Claude Parent (b. 1923) as would-be landscapes. Defined by sloping floors and oblique surfaces, Parent’s built and unbuilt interiors of the 1960s-70s evoke mountains, caverns, and other topographical forms. Landscape desire appears in architectural space through the insistence on continual movement—of the ground, of the body, of the senses. Parent makes neutrality and passivity impossible. In his architecture you cannot stand still. The impetus of constant, self-directed movement urges the subject toward a higher level of self-awareness—or is it just to a state of disorientation? But disorientation and even repulsion, for Parent, are the necessary precursors to opening new possibilities of participation in the shaping of the environment.
Gideon Fink Shapiro is an architectural researcher, writer, and designer. His work has been published by Domus, Abitare, Architect, Clog, the Guggenheim Lab|log, Recess Activities, and the Journal of Architectural Historians. He worked for four years in the design office of Gabellini Sheppard Associates, and has collaborated on public art installations with composers Peter Adams and Simon Fink as well as Brooklyn-based Amorphic Robot Works. He is currently working on a Ph.D. dissertation at the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, on the French engineer and landscape architect Alphand. He has received awards and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and University of Pennsylvania.
Chris Domenick is an artist living in Queens, NY. He has attended residencies including The Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2012. He is an 2013 MFA candidate at Hunter College.
Video from event:
Photos from event: