“Variable Dimensions” is a descriptive term commonly used in captions of artworks, especially in the field of contemporary art, but rarely used in the field of architecture, where dimensions are used for construction and hence naturally pre-defined. This exhibit suggests a fresh look on this difference and reinvents dialogues around the relationship between artists and architecture.
“Variable Dimensions. Artists and Architecture”
February 7 – May 29, 2017
MAAT Museum of Architecture, Art and Technology
Av. Brasília, Central Tejo 300-598 Lisboa
Organised by core subjects, it covers topics such as the relationship between contemporary cities and architecture, the virtualisation of urban social relations, different aspects of living and discussions on the home and domestic space, architectural and modernist utopias, and, lastly, works that are directly related to ideas of scale, size and measuring instruments and systems. It showcases historical and contemporary works by artists from different generations and nationalities side by side, whose artwork promotes the discussion on topics that expand or narrow the relationship between art and architecture. The exhibit stems from the publication Artists and Architecture: Variable Dimensions, published by the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, in Paris, 2015.
Examining the relationship between artists and architecture is a matter of engaging with works of art, and then having the opportunity to question the space and architecture through the prism of contemporary art itself. Curated by: Gregory Lang & Inês Grosso
The selection was based on 264 artists’ works gathered for the book ‘Artists and Architecture, Variable Dimensions’ published in 2015 by the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris, where the first exhibition presented the works by 54 artists from October to 2015 to January 2016. The artworks were chosen with an attention towards certain historical pieces and works by emerging artists which, when aggregated together, offer a non-exhaustive contemporary panorama, a potential collection.
The ways into and progressions throughout this book and exhibition are many, and they multiply the possibilities of making connections. Indeed the corpus presented in this publication becomes a platform encouraging different perceptions that generate new combinations between the works.
This iteration for the MAAT is in resonance with new artworks that have been borrowed from artists’ studios, galleries, and collections, while inviting new dialogues between works from many private collections in Lisbon that are rarely visible to the public.
“Variable Dimensions” is usually associated with contemporary art, and it is a descriptive term that often appears in an artwork’s caption, yet it rarely appears within architecture, where dimensions are built by nature, and thus defined. The possibilities of variable dimensions intrinsic to the artwork, to the object and to its own existence are what ultimately distinguishes the world of art from the world of architecture.
The experience of space and volumes is common to both artists and architects who share the same interests in shapes, variations in scale, and the visual and physical perceptions that they entail. Experiencing measurement, its different representations and the ways in which it changes allows us to consider more easily the multiple dimensions and possibilities of a space. As the viewer’s experience is determined by a certain number of variables, it is a challenge to become aware of them.
Displayed together, these works by 52 artists articulate questions and experiments that confront the notion of built spaces, their materials, and especially the measurements that contain and define them. The topics presented throughout the rooms challenge the perceptions and experience of the viewer and reveal the artists’ interests and their understanding of modernity. Here, the chosen artists explored the phenomenon of inhabiting and living in an architectural context that they have intellectualized, experienced, fantasized, and then represented in their works.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Absalon, Saâdane Afif, Francis Alÿs, Nazgol Ansarinia, Giovanni Anselmo, Juan Araujo, Farah Atassi, John Baldessari, Thomas Bayrle, Pierre Besson, Julien Bismuth, Mel Bochner, Nathalie Brevet_Hughes Rochette, stanley brouwn, Carlos Bunga, Pedro Cabrita Reis, James Casebere, David Claerbout, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Thomas Demand, Denicolai & Provoost, Peter Downsbrough, Olafur Eliasson, Cevdet Erek, Larissa Fassler, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Zachary Formwalt, Peter Friedl, Carlos Garaicoa, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Pierre Huyghe, Bertrand Lamarche, Gordon Matta-Clark, Rita McBride, Jorge Méndez Blake, Matt Mullican, Bruce Nauman, Olaf Nicolai, Daniela Ortiz, Alexandre Périgot, Charlotte Posenenske, Evariste Richer, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Julião Sarmento, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rui Toscano, Lawrence Weiner, Erwin Wurm.