Unbuilt Roads, presented by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Unbuilt Roads, presented by Hans Ulrich Obrist


Carsten Holler, 1996 (fragment)

March 27, 2009

Unbuilt Roads
Presented by Hans Ulrich Obrist
based on the book Unbuilt Roads:
107 Unrealised Projects
, Hatje Cantz (1997)
edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Guy Tortosa

April 11 – May 16, 2009
Opening: Saturday, April 11, 6-8 PM

41 Essex Street
NYC NY 10002
T: 212 619-3356

Unlike unrealized architectural projects, which are frequently exhibited and circulated, unrealized artworks tend to remain unnoticed or little known. But perhaps there is another form of artistic agency in the partial expression, the incomplete idea, the projection of a mere intention? Starting on Saturday, April 11th, the book project Unbuilt Roads: 107 Unrealized Projects will be presented as a public archive at e-flux. Bringing together descriptions of unrealized projects by 107 artists, the selection constitutes the result of several years of international research conducted in the late 90s by Obrist and Guy Tortosa. The archive will remain on view through Saturday, May 16th.

Though the state of being unrealized implies the potential for realization, not all of the 107 projects were meant be carried out. Certain works have deliberately been left undone by the artists, although they have “failed” in very interesting ways. Other planned projects involve consciously utopian, non-utilitarian, and conceptual spaces that were not made available for realization. Whether censored, forgotten, postponed, impossible, or rejected, these unrealized projects form a unique testament to the speculative power of non-action. As Joel Fisher suggested in his essay “The Success of Failure,” “The failures of big ideas are sometimes more impressive than the successes of little ones.”

Unbuilt Roads includes contributions from Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Siah Armajani, John Armleder, Lothar Baumgarten, Larry Bell, Guillaume Bijl, Dara Birnbaum, Alighiero Boetti, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Brossa, Chris Burden, Daniel Buren, Cai Guo-Qiang, Maurizio Cattelan, Dinos & Jake Chapman, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Constant, Critical Art Ensemble, Stefan Demary, Erik Dietman, Jimmie Durham, Maria Eichhorn, Ayşe Erkmen, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Peter Fend, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Katharina Fritsch, Gautel/Karaindros, Frank O. Gehry/Richard Serra, General Idea, Isa Genzken, Paul-Armand Gette, Jef Geys, Gilbert & George, Simryn Gill, Liam Gillick, Leon Golub, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Joseph Grigely, Victor Grippo, Hans Haacke, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Ulrike Holthöfer, Jenny Holzer, Huang Yong Ping, Pierre Huyghe, Fabrice Hybert, Robert Irwin, Ilya Kabakov, Allan Kaprow, Tadashi Kawamata, Per Kirkeby, Yves Klein/Werner Ruhnau, Alison Knowles, Koo Jeong-a, Jannis Kounellis, David Lamelas, Bertrand Lavier, Ange Leccia, Lee Ufan, Sol LeWitt, Gilles Mahé, Christian Marclay, Fabio Mauri, Cildo Meireles, Gustav Metzger, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Tania Mouraud, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Tony Oursler, Giuseppe Penone, Manfred Pernice, Steven Pippin, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Hermann Pitz, Markus Raetz, Robert Rauschenberg, Tobias Rehberger, Jason Rhoades/Raymond Pettibon, Ulrich Rückriem, Allen Ruppersberg, Edward Ruscha, Joe Scanlan, Gregor Schneider, Gary Simmons, Yutaka Sone, Nancy Spero, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rosemarie Trockel, Uri Tzaig, herman de vries, Jeff Wall, Lois Weinberger, Richard Wentworth, Franz West, Stephen Willats, Jeffrey Wisniewski, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and Jonas Mekas.

Unbuilt Roads is the first in a new series of exhibitions at e-flux project space at 41 Essex Street, lower level. The space is open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 12-6 PM.

Opening reception: Saturday, April 11, 6-8 PM.

Hans Ulrich Obrist and e-flux would like to thank The Drawing Center, Sydney Hart, Hatje Cantz Publishers, Bettina Korek (Producer, Future Projects), Karen Marta (Coordinator, Future Projects), Eva McGovern (Inspire Fellow, Serpentine Gallery), Carlos Motta, Julia Peyton-Jones (Director, Serpentine Gallery), Tim Ridlen, Sally Tallant (Head of Programmes, Serpentine Gallery), and Mila Zacharias.

For further information please contact:

41 Essex Street
New York City
T: 212 619-3356
opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12- 6 pm

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March 27, 2009

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