Psycho                   Buildings

Artists take on architecture at hayward gallery

Inspired by the collective responses of art and architecture I found Psycho buildings was one of the major exhibition held in 2008 of an architectural initiative that involved artists from around the world to respond to few of London’s  galleries  by combining hard edge architectural designs with artistic perceptions. The artists tries to reactivate the complex relationship to space between the individual and  his or her surroundings. The works contain of creating habitat like sculptures and architectural inspired installations that makes the viewer think about  build environment not just a physical but also as a social, psychological and perceptual environment. I would like to call such works as architectural unconscious because it engages me in the political, corporeal and psychological dimensions of the built space as well as their formal and material aspects. Yet  the artists in this exhibition are not primarily interested in architecture as a particular discipline , here I didn’t fined architecture in its functional guise  rather as a site of desire, memory and doubt, home to personal contingencies , the clashing of cultures and coalescing of subjectivities.

I want to mention few works of these artists that reminds that architecture functions not only as a structural container, but also as an optical device that shapes the way I perceive the build environment around. What is interesting to me in these works is that the overall atmosphere and interior of these sculptural works is controlled and lies somewhere between a space of real and artificial settings.

Crystal Palace, Joseph Paxton, 1851

I remember my visit to Kew gardens temperate glass house when I sawthis  the picture of this 20th century Victorian glass house called crystal palace by Joseph Paxton, built  for the 1871 Great exhibition in London Hyde park. This structure was called a world in miniature and an independent ecosystem and perhaps the only building in the world where the atmosphere is perceptible. I absolutely find this as an aesthetic object than an economic house where many exhibitions flourished. Hence, It invited rational scrutiny of economic conditions, while safely sealing the new consumer off from their consequences. The building seems to be a model to enchant the consumers and spectators, it was much of an image of perfect setting of illusionary qualities thus, making sense of ambiguity that attracts me or in general to others to architecture such as the glasshouses.

Kurt Schwitters Merzbau, 1932

The work such as Kurt Schwitters “Merzbau” embodies what could be understood as the architectural unconscious. It seems totally an abstract autonomous work of art and a self-enclosed interior or installation consisting of fragments of sculpture, collage , writing as well as found objects into with people can walk.  The artists in Psycho Buildings engage the viewer in the disparate ways in political and psychological dimensions of build spaces. Alike to the artists in Psycho Buildings art and architecture are frequently differentiated in terms of its function, I find interior  and architecture not in its functional guise but as a site of desire, memory and doubt, also home to personal contingencies and source of collective histories, a point of clashing of cultures and merging of subjectivities.

Staircase, Do Ho Suh, 2008

Domestic home architecture has been a central point of reference for Do Ho Suh’s work. It is a kind of a space organised between interiority and exteriority and transparency and opacity. His delicate structures made up of diaphanous  fabric such as silk or nylon are completely replication of specific spaces or buildings integral to his life. Thus, this work is from the artist childhood home in Korea.

To me the physical quality and sensorial experience of such work also produces psychological impact and feeling of nostalgia, longing  as these are mainly the structures of interiors and exteriors of home. This work is a successful example of  how forms of hard edge surfaces of architecture were meticulously translated into soft screens, drooping planes and fragile forms, in other words emphasizing displacement, fragmentation and discontinuity of space and time in contemporary life.

Venetian Atmospheric by Tobias Putrih, 2007

Similar to the abstract experience of Merzbau  interior,  Putri’s prototype “Venetian Atmospheric” swings between desire and reality, idea and function , existing and imagines situation operating in the movie theatre. The work is a model of  fully functioning cinema. Its exterior is a forest of scaffolding while the inner structure is similar to  an elegant biomorphic rococo cave. 

I like how it must have generated the illusion of sitting outdoors in an exotic location by hermetically blocking outer reality while watching a film. This works facilitates the cross fading between real and not yet real experience. Thus it can be said that the theatres and their screens functions as two way mirrors lending and borrowing the status of reality from one side to the other through the mediator of machines.

Rachel Whiteread

Seeing a great piece of art can take you from one place to another—it can enhance daily life, reflect our times and, in that sense, change the way you think and are.
—Rachel Whiteread

In Rachel Whiteread’s sculptures and drawings, everyday settings, objects, and surfaces are transformed into ghostly replicas that are eerily familiar. The

subject matter include—from beds, tables, and boxes to water towers and entire houses—from practical use, suggesting a new permanence, imbued with memory. Her large scale concrete sculptures are made by filling a room with concrete to create a solid cast that picks up the details of the walls, mantle, and windows, i.e, Ghost is a positive room-sized object that reveals itself gradually, as one encircles the huge form.

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