"Structures & Facades" revisits a series of sculptures that Bill
Albertini created in the early nineteen eighties. These works
originated with his relocation to the US from Europe and consequential
discovery of the very different method of house building practiced in
Due to the extensive use of timber instead of stone or concrete,
American domestic architecture can be divided in two distinct
components: The structural frame, made out of wood or steel, and the
thin panels of various materials, which comprise both the interior and
exterior facades of the building.
Albertini's interest focuses not only on the practical methodology
used to assemble American domestic architecture, but also on these
elements (structure, facade) being the essential components of the
free-standing billboard and the "flats" of the traditional stage set
and how the house often seem to share the same purpose of the billboard
and stage flat which is to project what the owner/occupant wants it to
Bill strips the purpose of facade, and focuses equally on the
structure that supports it in "Watts Street Monopole" (2007), a six
minute video shot with a hand-held camera, where the subject is one of
the ubiquitous steel billboard structures perched atop a single mammoth
pole or pipe, which have become the outdoor advertising norm over the
last two decades. The video is in black and white except for a
turquoise trapezium, which obscures the "message" of the billboard.
With this simple cinematic device Albertini gives equal importance to
the two components of the billboard, the structure and the facade.
"Red Corridor" 1982-2008 is the adaptation of a site-specific
installation from 1982 to the peculiarities of the Martos Gallery.
Albertini plays with the property of the façade to create an illusion
of what is behind it by creating a wall with a slot-like aperture that
from the exterior, appears to be part of a solid volume. However, upon
entering the gallery space this illusion of solidity disappears as the
structure is exposed. The way in which the piece is revealed makes the
spectator rely on the memory of the structure or the facade in order to
envisage the whole.