Friday, December 26, 2008

Architecture and Imagination

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On Support Lectures
Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 6.30
Wouter Davidts
Ottoman Bank Museum Conference Hall,
Bankalar Caddesi, 11, Karaköy

In 1977, museum director Ian Finlay remarked that “museum thinking has nearly always begun with the building.” Whenever people imagine a new institution, the proposal tends from a very early stage to crystallize as an architectural concept. Today, Finlay’s words appear more than visionary, if not outright prophetic. In the past three decades, just about every art institution has at least once renovated, rebuilt, extended or added to its existing architectural premises. Architecture, so reads the general belief, enables institutions to break new ground, not merely in the literal sense. The countless plans for renovations, additions and extensions are invariably coupled with the ambition to ‘tackle’ the institution as well, on both a micro and macro level. Architecture is taken up as the medium par excellence to rethink and remodel both the hosting establishment as well as the global concept of art institutions – whether they are a private or public museum, a Kunsthalle or an art gallery.

After three decades of excessive building of new art institutions all over the globe, it is worth asking if the resulting architectural extravaganza has indeed offered some thought-provoking institutional structures in exchange. While architecture – as both a medium and a mode of cultural production – seems to be constantly at play and at stake when people envision a future institution, it remains hazy to what extent the ensuing buildings have delivered truly imaginative solutions to frame and support cultural production and reflection. Is the exuberant crop of new art institutions the paramount illustration of architecture’s possible role and significance in stimulating the institutional imagination, or are we to look elsewhere?

In his lecture, Davidts will discuss the exhibition Beginners & Begetters, which he curated for the Contemporary Arts Centre Extra City in Antwerp, Belgium in the summer of 2007. The show presented a historical mapping of the manifold, often visionary initiatives and projects that museum directors, city officials, art supporters and architects dreamed up for the lacking official infrastructure for art institutions in Flanders in the post-war era. By retracing and documenting these unrealized and mostly unknown projects of the recent past, the exhibition aimed to elicit a discussion on the role and significance of architecture in the initiation, framing and support of new and future art institutions. It investigated how and when architecture – within a specific cultural field that was short of official support and engagement – was nevertheless used as a both conceptual and matter-of-fact means to dream up new institutions, to think of new sites and spaces for cultural production and reflection.
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‘On support’ takes its lead from the larger project and ongoing collaboration between Architect Celine Condorelli and Artist-Curator Gavin Wade, ‘Support Structure’, which looks at the systems and structures conditioning how we inhabit our environment.

"On Support’ is supported in part by the British Council.
Additional support has been provided by the Goethe Institute Istanbul.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Book Launch SIT Manresa

Thursday, December 25, 18:30
Garanti Galeri
Sitesize (2008): ‘SIT Manresa,
Territorial Interpretation Service’

The SIT Manresa project, the origin of this book's title, is also the connecting thread and starting point of this editorial project. The texts included consist of collaborations and synergies between people working in different fields which perfectly complement cultural and artistic work concerned with territory: geography, landscape, citizen participation, knowledge management, pedagogy, cultural management... Each of them, from their different perspectives, shares the sense of an urgent need for a coordinated and committed work of social and cultural rearmament.

SIT (Territorial Interpretation Service ) is a service which offers itself as a platform for the production and exchange of local territorial knowledge with the objective of evaluating present and future territorial transformation. A collective public hearing on the issue of territory which has to necessarily link up with the planning of territory and social cohesion.

Sitesize is a collaborative projects platform concerning the contemporary metropolis. Since 2002 it has developed specific creation and mediation projects in the Barcelona metropolitan area. Their areas of interest centre on autonomous cultural production practices and the search for new territorial and landscape geographies.

Contributors:
Francesc Muñoz, Joan Nogué, Itziar González, Xavier Oliveras, Montse Romaní, Montserrat Cortadellas, Javier Rodrigo, Iván Orellana, Ramon Parramon and Sitesize.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On Support


A Lecture Series taking place on evenings between December 2008 and February 2009, organised by Celine Condorelli and hosted by Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center and Garanti Gallery.

Friday, December 19, 2008, 6.30 p.m.
Celine Condorelli
‘What is Support’

Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 6.30 p.m.
Wouter Davidts:
On Support: ‘Architecture and Imagination’

Friday, January 23, 2009, 6.30 p.m.
Andrea Phillips
On Support: ‘Building Democracy’

Friday, January 30, 2009, 6.30 p.m.
Jan Verwoert
On Support: ‘Methodologies’
Ottoman Bank Museum Conference hall at Bankalar Caddesi, 11, Karaköy.

Friday February 13, 2009, 6.30 p.m.
Celine Condorelli, James Langdon, Gavin Wade
On Support: ‘Support Structures’

The Lectures, in English, take place at the Ottoman Bank Museum Conference hall at Bankalar Caddesi, 11, Karaköy.

A discussion on the notion of 'support' is seen as fundamental to the development of cultural practice, art, and architecture, and will take place in Istanbul between December 2008 and February 2009, in relation to the new vision of Platform Garanti and Garanti Gallery and the institution's future implementation.

Celine Condorelli was invited to participate in the residency programme at Platform Garanti, to advance her research on this topic and to develop a project within the current considerations of the institution. The resulting series of lectures titled 'On Support' introduces critics, artists, architects, curators and thinkers who are invited to think through the notions of 'support' and 'discipline'. These individuals will contribute to the project by spending short periods in Istanbul in association with Condorelli's research and supported by the British Council; together, they will be elaborating frameworks and working on texts around the subjects of 'supplements' and 'support'. Their contributions, texts and ideas will feed into the project as a whole and form part of the publication ‘Support Structures’, developed with the involvement of Platform Garanti and to be published by Sternberg Press in 2009.

The research is co-extensive within the ongoing discussions about what kind of institution Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center and Garanti Gallery is aiming to develop via their new collaboration. Hence, the longer term potential for the material generated by the project will be a collection of texts and thoughts that are used to form a curatorial and conceptual framework to realise an exhibition within the new institution.

‘On support’ is a research project that uses 'support' as a proposition to tackle issues of articulation, representation and blindness (social, historical or fictional). Support is here to be understood as a practice based on generosity, which invites readings and inhabitations of relationships between power structures, social realities and institutional forms. Support occurs in the interstices of cultural structures or society, in its ad-hoc formations and encounters, which makes it sometimes hard to recognise, as it takes up a position of interfacing and organisation, which inevitably recedes in the background; it is a practice of weakness and negotiation and a work of articulation. This project addresses important questions for the art and architecture community, on forms of display, organisation, appropriation, dependency and temporariness; it defines spatial practice as a form of political imagination.

‘On support’ takes its lead from the larger project and ongoing collaboration between Architect Celine Condorelli and Artist-Curator Gavin Wade, ‘Support Structure’, which looks at the systems and structures conditioning how we inhabit our environment.

"On Support’ is supported in part by the British Council.
Additional support has been provided by the Goethe Institute Istanbul.