They are based on a series of photographs by Eileen Gray, first published by Jean Badovici in a special issue of the journal L’Architecture Vivante from 1929, the year their villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d’Azur first stood finished.
“Kasper Akhøj. Welcome (To The Teknival)”
September 12 – November 3, 2018
C/ Comandante Zorita 48 28020, Madrid
Through his research-based work, the artist recorded the restoration and resurrection of this early modernist villa, one of only few built by a female architect at the time. These photographs were taken over a period of six visits to E-1027 (in 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017), yet each image is taken from a diverse view, allowing for the interchangeable nature of the villa to resonate through the documentation. The record of the successive occupants is confronted with each other, creating a gripping historical dialogue of conceptual storytelling.
The show’s title, Welcome (To The Teknival) appropriates from two graffiti from the nineties, created by squatters occupying the abandoned site. It also reveals the atemporal nature of the building, at one point desolately abandoned and at another, fully preserved.
In 1938 French architect Le Corbusier painted several murals in the villa, as a kind of defilement of Gray’s architecture. Paradoxically, the architect likely played a crucial part in the site’s preservation, by way of his ongoing obsession with the house.
Kasper Akhøj (Copenhagen, 1976) works primarily with sculpture, film and photography. He studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. The artist completed the Whitney Independent Study Program, in New York, in 2009.
He has held recent solo exhibitions at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the De La Warr Pavilion, United Kingdom; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, United States; and WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Belgium. His work has also been shown at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, United States; the 55th and 56th Venice Biennials, Italy; the 28th and 31st Sao Paulo Biennials, Brazil: the 11th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates, and MoMA PS1, United States. In 2018 he won the Faena Prize for the Arts together with Brazilian artist Tamar Guimarães, and will have forthcoming solo exhibitions at the Faena Art in Buenos Aires and Miami, as well as participate in group exhibitions at Museo Morelense de Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico and at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. His work is part of the collections of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Frac des Pays de la Loire, Nantes; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.