Situated at the end of the Arsenal along an existing 'garden pavilion', the new temporary intervention consists of a light elegant white steel structure covered with a reflective silver roof fabric. The new structure placed along the entire length of the house is mirroring the existing pitch roof and thereby extending the existing pavilion with a new external room that acts as a 'galleria' linking the seven rooms together.
Inside each of the seven rooms, a juxtaposition of images of both Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen and the photographer Bas Princen are presented side by side. Both printed on white aluminium plates, they are simply placed against the curved wall and, in each room, start to populate the space.
At the beginning of the 21st century, everybody knows that images do not represent the truth, but they do constitute our contemporary reality. Nevertheless: some images are more real than others. Referring to the title of this project, they could be called: perspectives.
The photographs taken by Bas Princen show existing forms of anonymous space and architecture; the images made by Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen are fictitious views of their architecture designs. In this sense, they seem to move in opposite directions: the perspectives of Princen long for authorship and particularity; the perspectives of Office want to shed their artifice as a layer of skin. This division, however, is false, as both sorts of perspectives simply want to show places where people can exist by being confronted with their own existence. The means with which these perspectives and these forms of architecture are made, show a striking resemblance.
What is important here, is that nature and culture, or chaos and architecture, are not considered enemies. Rather the opposite is true. Massive walls, high columns, plane roofs, large squares and perpendicular openings, draw lines and impose borders. Trees, debris, surfaces of water, rubble, clouds and the sky – but also human beings, cars, books, artefacts and furniture, impose themselves as messengers and signs of the endless warehouse of our globalized world. They need each other in order to exist, and they can only be real and meaningful if they are granted to be what they are.
The perspectives by Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen and Bas Princen reintroduce architecture as what it has been since the advent of mankind: a brave and necessary attempt to impose order, structure and legibility to the world in general and to one place in particular. At the same time these constructions include their own fantastic failure. And that is exactly the essence of architecture: it has to fail, in a grandiose way, as an invitation to all kinds of people, things and activities.
A perspective is only real if it shows both the independent ambition of architecture and the autonomous reaction of all that is not architecture, and that might as well be called human life.
Visiting this exhibition is like enacting this fundamental process: here are 21 images that are authored, constructed and clear – they can become perspectives only in confrontation to the mind and the body of the visitor.
Testo redatto da Christophe Van Gerrewey
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