Informal Architectures

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Skull Houses, Citadel, Northwest Calgary, 2004 Colour Photograph © Ryan Nordlund
Informal Architectures
Curated by: Anthony Kiendl

286 McDermot Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0T2
May 3rd, 2008 - June 28th, 2008
Opening: May 2nd, 2008 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM

204 942 1043
Plug In ICA, The Banff Centre
architecture, photography, installation, performance, conceptual, landscape, sculpture


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art announces the opening of the exhibition Informal Architectures, Friday, May 2 at 8 PM, with the performance of Long Haul by Rita McKeough (Calgary).

Gathering the work of a number of international artists exploring the intersections of architecture, social thought and failure, Informal Architectures describes a contemporary landscape of social, political and cultural ideas. The exhibition presents predominantly new works (some commissioned and produced by artists at The Banff Centre), with select historical works.

These works look at the marginal, contingent, and unmonumental—back alleys, rubbish dumps, and gutters—to elucidate meaning and re-configure our surroundings in contemporary culture post-9/11. Contrary to the traditional forms of art and architecture intrinsic to 20th century modernity— privileging the skyscraper, monumental and technological progress—meaning is sought in the ephemeral, hypothetical and even fictional. By considering work by artists from diverse and unconventional perspectives, the assumptions and dream-narratives of modern art and architecture are re-imagined.

The artists in Informal Architectures visualize economies of both excess and lack —chocolate and dirt, shopping malls and ruins, humour and destruction—proposing alternative strategies and criteria for the creation, representation and inhabitation of space—or of how to be in the (built) world.

The publication Informal Architectures: Space and Contemporary Culture, edited by Anthony Kiendl, will accompany the exhibition. Through images and writing, this book proposes ideas that collectively constitute a re-imagining of the cultural meanings of space in contemporary western societies.