AKINCI is proud to present Ruins recycled, a group show with Lara Almarcegui, Raul Ortega Ayala, Imogen Stidworthy and Edwin Zwakman.
Ruins Recycled is the title of an exhibition which can be considered as a research project with a poetical approach to the architectural ruin. A ruin is not standing on its own. It is connected to history and is imbedded in the psychological processes of the people who have lived loss and distress through wars or urban changes. Ruins recycled is about the transformation of ruins which turns despair into hope as ruins are connected to time and memory, but also to myths, stories and futuristic models.
Lara Almarcegui’s projects explore the various connections between architecture and urbanism, focusing on abandoned spaces or structures that are in the process of being demolished. Her projects and interventions question the present state of the world of development and construction, and are designed to instigate a dialogue on the different elements that make up the ever-changing physical form of our urban landscapes. In ‘Ruins recycled’ Lara Almarcegui will present her project of the Relocated Houses, Wellington, 2009.
This art project presents 19 houses for sale at Britton’s Yard, which have been relocated from various neighbourhoods in Wellington over recent years. Visiting each of these houses and recounting their histories offers the opportunity to reflect on the urbanisation, construction, trans-formation and future of the city of Wellington, New Zealand. Removed from their original contexts, the houses are caught between a distant past and their future reinstatement to another site.
Lara Almarcegui is born in Zaragoza, Spain in 1972 and now lives and works in Rotterdam. She had solo exhibitions at INDEX, Stockholm (2004), FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon (2004), Centro Arte Contemporáneo, Malaga (2007) and Ludlow 38, New York (2010). She presented projects at the Liverpool Biennial (2004), at the Frieze Art Fair Special Projects (2006), at the São Paulo Biennial (2006), and the Sharjah Biennial 8, Arabic Emirates (2007), the 7th Gwangju Biennial, at La Galerie, Noissy-le-Sec (2007), and the Taipei Art Biennial (2008). Her work featured in the Barbican show on “architecture for a changing planet”, London, the 2nd Athens Biennial (2009), the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster and the 10th Biennale de Lyon (2009). She just finished her Solo exhibition at Secession, Vienna. Lara Almarcegui is represented by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam. She has recently won the Dolf Henkes Award.
Raul Ortega Ayala’s (1973, Mexico)work is the result of immersions into different environments, which he purposefully seeks to experience through research or observation for an extended period of time. Ortega Ayala approaches each subject matter using a certain methodology, predominantly an ethnographic approach (as a participant observer). He approaches a context with as little predetermined knowledge of its ‘craft’ as possible and seeks to learn it via taking employment and training in the field in question, or by means of research. At AKINCI Ortega Ayala will show a replica of Pieter Brueghel’s (1563) Babel Tower he made with fat in order to constitute a coherent metaphor of our times. In general the Tower of Bable can function as the eternal ruin, symbolizing development, human hubris and decay all at once. The Tower of Bable built of fat can be seen as a metaphor of transformation. In Ruins recycled Ortega Ayala will also present his new video work of an architect, a historian and an archaeologist. E.g. a historian talking in front of a site of something that happened in that spot, an archaeologist speaking in front of a building about another building that used to be in that place and a person walking the artist around a house talking about people he or she knew…
Raul Ortega Ayala studied at the Glasgow School of Arts and at the Hunter College in New York. He also studied Philosophy and Visual Arts at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Ortega Ayala’s projects have been shown worldwide: 2008/9 Una Etnografia sobre la Jardinaería’, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City; 2010 a project at Kowalsky Gallery, DACS, London curated by Gilane Tawadros, selected by Francis Alÿs. His recent solo show was at Stroom The Hague, Netherlands (2010). Raul Ortega Ayala is represented by Rockeby, London.
In her complex audiovisual installations, Imogen Stidworthy (London, 1963) analyses various dimensions of the voice and spoken language, in particular their social and spatially constructive qualities.
The geographical coordinates 53° 27' 46.67" N, 2° 59' 10.35" W lead us to 46 Willard Street, Bootle, near Liverpool, UK, a house that was demolished on August 23, 2010. Imogen Stidworthy pinpoints this moment when the vernacular collapses, nr. 46 was one of the 165,000 houses built in the 19th century around the city, that are now earmarked for demolition as part of a largely invisible economic process with far-reaching social consequences. A 3D architectural laser scan was made shortly after the house collapsed, to create a precise topography of the remains. 53° 27' 46.67" N, 2° 59' 10.35" W. Points in a Cloud shows a view from the resulting data that focuses on the position of the scanner itself, indicated by the black area at the centre of the image, which is the only place it is unable to record or represent. The absence of data on this spot is identical to the undefined space where the image runs out at the edges of the frame. The position from which we are looking now is a point about 8m above the ground, looking back in the direction of this blind spot from where the scanner generates its simulated gaze - looking both ways simultaneously in an impossible circuit of self-reflection.
Imogen Stidworthy lives in Liverpool, UK. Stidworthy has had great attention with her installation I Hate, at Documenta 12 in Kassel (2007). She has had various museum presentations, e.g. ‘Die Lucky Bush’, a major exhibition project at MuHKA, Antwerp (2008), ‘No Longer Empty’ at Liverpool Biennial 2010, and her recent solo exhibition ‘The Work’ at Kunstpavilion Innsbruck, Austria 2010/11.
Edwin Zwakman (1969, The Hague) builds model landscapes, interiors and buildings and then photographs them with a large format camera. He constructs fragmentary, make-believe worlds resembling miniature film sets, with wood, cardboard, plastic, cotton, wool, Perspex and paint.
In the works titled ‘generic utopia’ shown at Ruins recycled, Zwakman presents photographs taken in Marquette factories in Shanghai and Beijing of remainders from furniture maquettes, used for Real Estate developers for the Middle East. These maquettes of chairs and tables of which are piled up in forgotten corners and drawers of the factories form the ingredients for the model-houses sold to Dubai and other places in the Middle East.
Edwin Zwakman has had many international presentations, a.o. Huis Marseille Amsterdam, Netherlands (2008), Ludwig Forum Aachen, Germany (2007), Maison Européenne de la Photographie Paris, France (2006), Taipei Biennial (2002) etc.Upcoming: In September 2011Edwin Zwakman will have a retrospective at the OCAT, the He Xiangning Art Museum in Shanghai together with Lui Jianhua.