ENVISIONING BUILDINGS: Reflecting Architecture in Contemporary Art Photography is an exploration of the agency of contemporary art to influence thinking about architecture as an interrelated discipline. ENVISIONING BUILDINGS reflects the MAK’s commitment to producing exhibitions and publications that engage art/architecture/design and conjoin them in a way to test whether, and how, they can be transformed.
Importantly, ENVISIONING BUILDINGS includes work by a number of the most influential contemporary artists working with camera-based images, who, in recent years, have changed thinking about art photo - graphy. Their close scrutiny of architecture, while often critical, represents a celebration of those architects and buildings for the future. The artists and the exhibition focuses on iconic buildings of the 20th and 21st century, including the work of modernist architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Erich Mendelsohn, Berthold Lubetkin and the Tecton Group, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Philip Johnson, Ernst Plischke and of contemporary figures such as Frank O. Gehry, Herzog & de Meuron, Kenzo Tange, and Peter Zumthor. A special place is reserved in the exhibition amongst the aforementioned architects for Rudolph M. Schindler whose legacy the MAK has a long-standing special relationship with, not least since the founding of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles and the MAK-Schindler Scholarship program at the Mackey Apartments. Amongst these photographs are works by the likes of Candida Höfer and Hiroshi Sugimoto who have been inspired by Schindler’s buildings.
Structured into eight thematic chapters—Restoration, Reanimation, Dwelling, Utopian Visions, Refraction, Deconstruction, Critique, and Systems Analysis—the exhibition engages discourses relevant to both art photography and architecture. As such ENVISIONING BUILDINGS: Reflecting Architecture in Contemporary Art Photography should appeal to audiences interested in discussions about art, architecture, and design, and all those fascinated in the important role that the MAK plays in exhibiting and contextualizing contemporary art and culture.
Curator Simon Rees