Serpentine co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist presented a compendium of his recent projects, of which there are quite many. Personally, I found HUO's talk interesting because I know many of these projects and have attended many panels and symposia that he organized, but I've never really heard him speak about his own practice. He's also kind of asking people questions or on the run to somewhere else. That's pretty much the same case here--he doesn't seem terribly self-reflective. (Is this a self-preservation strategy or what?)
Solaris Chronicles at Luma Arles
This exhibition responded to the work of (everyone's least favorite) architect Frank Gehry. All projects are meant to bridge art and architecture. Organizers and participants include Frank Gehry, John Baldessari, Nicolas Becker and Djengo Hartlap, Pierre Boulez, Liam Gillick, Cai Guo-Qiang, David Lynch, Greg Lynn, Philippe Parreno, Asad Raza, Tino Sehgal--sadly, all men.
Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price: a stroll through a fun palace for the Swiss Pavilion of the 14th International Architecture Biennale, Venice
Sociologist Lucius Burckhardt invented the term "strollology": the art of going on a stroll, hence the title "a stroll through a fun palace." This project seems to be another blending of art and architecture honoring the practice of an older (male) artist.
From the biennals.ch website:
Both Burckhardt and Price critiqued the traditional tertiary education system and were interested in rethinking the basic concept of a university. Following their revolutionary teaching methods, Obrist's Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price – A stroll through a fun palace radically re-approaches the idea of the national pavilion, reconceiving it as a site for cross-disciplinary, interactive, international engagement. Acknowledging that it is not possible to present the complex practices of Burckhardt and Price through a static display of drawings, Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price – A stroll through a fun palace aims for visitors to encounter the architects’ archives performatively. The display on Lucius Burckhardt is co-curated by architects Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with the Lucius & Annemarie Burckhardt Foundation and Martin Schmitz Verlag, whilst the temporary archive of Cedric Price is co-curated by Mirko Zardini, director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). To present the temporary archives, Herzog & de Meuron have devised a site-specific system located in the graphic room of the Swiss Pavilion, aiming to create a new system of knowledge and ideas. Visible through the glass walls but not accessible to the public, it is to be conceived as an object on display.
This project, says HUO, was kind of influenced by Julia Peyton-Jones' idea for the Serpentine Pavilion, instituted in 2000. Peyton-Jones sought to answer the question, "How can we invent an institution that reinvents itself every year?" Subsequent commissions inlcude Sou Fujimoto, Rem Koolhaas, and most recently Smiljian Radic (2014).
2006, also the year HUO joined the Serpentine, saw the first Serpentine Marathon. "We urgently needed a contemporary Black Mountain College," says HUO, "And how can we recreate this in a museum space? He was inspired by previously working with curator Kaspar König at the Portikus museum and Städelschule art school in Frankfurt. Marathon was thought of as both a group show and a festival. Themes include Manifesto (2008), Experiment (2007), Poetry (2009), Map (2010), Garden (2011), Memory (2012), 89plus (2013), Extinction (2014). Extinction was a collaboration with Gustav Metzger that attempted to take a stand against the widespread extinction of species. (You probably remember we covered this a few weeks ago.)
Van Abbemuseum Annie Fletcher is currently speaking--her wrap up coming soon.