Architecture and sexuality “1,000 m2 of desire” exhibition at CCCB

The exhibition at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona is focused on the way Western society has planned, built and imagined spaces for sex from the 18th century to the present day.

 

Collage 2  1968 © Ricardo Bofill

Collage 2, 1968 © Ricardo Bofill

 

With some 250 exhibits, including drawings and architectural models, art installations, audiovisuals, books and other materials, the exhibition explores the power of spaces as the driving force of desire and shows how architecture has been a tool that controls behaviour and creates gender stereotypes in our patriarchal society.


 

Practical information

“1,000 m2 of desire”
October 26, 2016 – March 19, 2017
CCCB, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
Montalegre, 5 – 08001 Barcelona
Spain

 


It presents some of the projects that have subverted traditional models and advocated utopias of sexual cohabitation, or private spaces designed solely for pleasure. It looks afresh at the proposals of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Charles Fourier, De Sade and Guy Debord, the radical architecture of the 1960s and 1970s, Carlo Mollino, Adolf Loos, Nicolas Schöffer, Wilhelm Reich, Playboy architecture and works by contemporary architects and artists.

 

L’Appel, 1944 Paul Delvaux Colección Telefónica  © Fernando Maquieira

L’Appel, 1944, Paul Delvaux, Colección Telefónica © Fernando Maquieira

Atti Fondamentali. Amore: la Macchina innamoratrice, 1971 – 1973  Archivio Superstudio  © Superstudio

Atti Fondamentali. Amore: la Macchina innamoratrice, 1971 – 1973, Archivio Superstudio © Superstudio

 

Many people refer to today’s sexual freedom as sexual liberalisation. At a time when our daily lives are monitored by production and consumption, which spaces are reserved for sexual pleasure today? “1000m2 of desire. Architecture and sexuality” curated by the architect Adélaïde de Caters and the CCCB’s head of exhibitions la Rosa Ferré, will be at the CCCB from 26th October 2016 to 19th March 2017. It underpins the need to reappraise, for contemporary times, the validity and interest of some of the radical, speculative projects that seem to speak directly to us today, even though some of them date back more than 200 years.

 

The House of the century Ant Farm (Richard Jost, Chip Lord, Doug Michels) Revista Playboy, desembre/diciembre de 1973 / Playboy Magazine, December 1973

The House of the century, Ant Farm (Richard Jost, Chip Lord, Doug Michels) Revista Playboy, desembre/diciembre de 1973 / Playboy Magazine, December 1973

Bubble House  Design Studio Chrysalis Revista Playboy, abril 1972, p. 118 / Playboy Magazine, april 1972 © Richard Fish

Bubble House, Design Studio Chrysalis, Revista Playboy, abril 1972, p. 118 / Playboy Magazine, april 1972 © Richard Fish

 

Drawings and architectural models, artworks, installations, films and documentaries, books and other materials invite us to consider how sexualities are constructed in accordance with specific cultural codes subject to norms that govern bodies and discourses, and the nature   of the space of desire and pleasure in our society.

 

Llit Playboy Cama Playboy Playboy Bed  Revista Playboy, abril 1965 / Playboy Magazine, april 1965

Playboy Bed, Revista Playboy, abril 1965 / Playboy Magazine, april 1965

 

The exhibition highlights the way certain forms of resistance to established norms have largely originated from informal architecture and the appropriation of places. It shows how architectural practice has been dominated by men until very recently and,  as  a  result, spaces designed for pleasure have been imagined from male desires and fantasies.

 

Colour drawing of section of the Panopticon or Inspection House, 1794-95 Jeremy Bentham © Bentham Papers, UCL Library Services, Special Collections

Colour drawing of section of the Panopticon or Inspection House, 1794-95, Jeremy Bentham © Bentham Papers, UCL Library Services, Special Collections

Detachable theater project for Maria Antonieta Pierre-Adrien Pâris 1785 Ploma aiguada de tinta i aquarel·la / Pluma aguada de tinta y acuarela / Pen, ink wash and watercolor Bibliothèque Municipale de Besançon

Detachable theater project for Maria Antonieta, Pierre-Adrien Pâris, 1785, Bibliothèque Municipale de Besançon

 

Architecture as the physical design of a space  and setting makes up a substantial part of our sexual fantasies. Many of the exhibits have never been created before and are constructed through language or the projected  image.

 

The interior of the Theatre at Besancon reflected in the pupil of an eye, 1784 Claude Nicolas Ledoux Cortesia / Courtesy Musée Ledoux, Saline Royale, Arc et Senant

The interior of the Theatre at Besancon reflected in the pupil of an eye, 1784, Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Cortesia / Courtesy Musée Ledoux, Saline Royale, Arc et Senant

Oikema, house of pleasures or temple dedicated to love Claude Nicolas Ledoux Saline de Chaux, 1775-1779 Cortesia / Courtesy Musée Ledoux, Saline Royale, Arc et Senant

Oikema, house of pleasures or temple dedicated to love, Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Saline de Chaux, 1775-1779,
Cortesia / Courtesy Musée Ledoux, Saline Royale, Arc et Senant

 

The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections: Sexual utopias, Libertine refuges  and Sexographs and includes several independent spaces that act as ‘mini exhibitions’  each one curated by different specialists: a recreation of Nicolas Schöffer’s Centre for Sexual Leisure (Eléonore de Lanvandeyra Schöffer and Guillaume Richard), a reading room containing libertine novels (Marie-Françoise Quignard), an installation dedicated to Playboy magazine and its architecture (Beatriz Colomina and Pep Avilés) and an archetypal 1970s ’ porn cinema (Esther Fernández).

 

Instant City in Bournemouth Peter Cook - Archigram Fotomuntatge / Fotomontaje / Photomontage Collection  Frac Centre-Val de Loire, Orléans, France © Archigram 1969

Instant City in Bournemouth, Peter Cook – Archigram, Fotomuntatge / Fotomontaje / Photomontage Collection Frac Centre-Val de Loire, Orléans, France © Archigram 1969

Flagrant delit. Delirious New York Madelon Vriesendorp 1975 Collection Frac Centre-Val de Loire, Orléans, France

Flagrant delit. Delirious New York, Madelon Vriesendorp, 1975 Collection Frac Centre-Val de Loire, Orléans, France

 

It also presents William Kentridge’s new installation Right Into Her Arms, which the South African artist created for his production of Alban Berg’s  Lulu.


 

News source: CCCB
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