April 27, 2017 - Architectural Association School of Architecture - OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen: Everything Architecture
e-flux Architecture
April 27, 2017
April 27, 2017

Architectural Association School of Architecture

View of Office KGDVS, Oasis, Sharjah, UAE. Photo: Bas Princen.

OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen
Everything Architecture
April 29–May 27, 2017

Lecture: April 28, 6:30–7:30pm, by Kersten Geers & David Van Severen

Architectural Association School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
UK

www.aaschool.ac.uk

OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen
Everything Architecture
April 29–May 27, 2017

Lecture: April 28, 6:30–7:30pm, by Kersten Geers & David Van Severen

Architectural Association School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
UK

www.aaschool.ac.uk

"All of my art has been premeditated: having a notion of the end and not the means to the end. The means to the end has always been secondary in my art. It’s the end product that I’m after."
—Ed Ruscha

In various conversations Ed Ruscha described his work as premeditated, having a notion of the end product, but not (yet) of the means to the end. Seldom has an idea of intentionality in cultural production been more pointedly described.

Our architecture is premeditated, it is fully aware, it is (only) interested in the end product; as it is convinced that only the project as a whole, fully executed, "finished" (whether on paper or in stone) is able to engage with the world and thus able to take a stance in relation to it.

Engaging with the world is what architecture should do, it should carry the flag of culture in defiance. For more than a decade our office has been making architecture, always with awareness and obsessively precise. It was, and is, convinced of its goals, though it is simultaneously unable to define them. This is the core of cultural production.

The world today is both interiorised and urbanised, everything is built, but (almost) nothing is architecture. In such a context, the only context we have—a veritable "even covered field"—we need to understand how we can define a minimum of comfort, a commons, a set of anchor points, a space to live, a connection with our cultural traditions. The architectural tradition is both vast and concentrated and cannot but re-negotiate the principles and elements that have been re-appropriated for eras prior to us. Still, that same negotiation happens in our contemporary world, it is a world where everything is known and secrets are hard to keep; information is broadcast 24 hours a day and almost nothing is read, or understood. In this world of extreme availability selection is what we should most caress. In our age saturated by social media, cutting, accumulating, appropriating and selecting is the core of our contemporary classicism.

Everything Architecture shows almost nothing, but that which it shows is very important for us: It is everything we consider "architecture" today, so to speak, up to the current point. At the centre of this argument we position a family of projects, a set of tables with models. Almost all models are final, despite their uneven materiality, they all served in a moment of "presentation."

The models provide a perfect antidote to the other material that is included in the show: perspectives, photographs, paintings, objects and sculptures often not by the office, but integrally part of its universe.

What is architecture, other than a device to define spaces, a tool to make hierarchies, a machine for illusions, an element for reference? Architecture is limited but all inclusive.

It is performing in relative autonomy, it engages in that what it contains without ever being infected, without being involved in the process.

Architecture is thus without content, but not without intentions. Originally, the exhibition at the Centre for Fine Arts inhabited a set of particularly designed spaces by Victor Horta. The tables of the exhibition populated the rooms in mild ignorance. The spatial distribution of the tables was focused around the domed centre of the antechambers. It remodelled the architecture of Horta into a powerful container, and transformed the space without touching it. At Arc en rêve we showed the works in the same manner within the rigid spaces of the former warehouse.

The objects and sculptures find their place around the models and tables, they negotiate the datum of the show, and question issues of size, scale and originality. The paintings and photographs challenge the ambiguity of architectural presentation. The perspectives and photographs show how selection (of viewpoint, of frame etc) drives the intentions of the project, for it is the core of its constructed ambiguity.

Everything Architecture shows everything chosen, everything framed, everything selected, everything depicted, everything shown. The show is everything, and as a consequence everything else is not. Only through careful selection we will survive the noise of our times.

–Kersten Geers & David Van Severen

Related
Share
More
Architectural Association School of Architecture
Share - OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen
Everything Architecture
  • Share
Close
Next