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EXHIBITIONS

Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient

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Critical Holder Chart 2 (detail), c1991 / Image Credit: © 2017 Estate of Madeline Gins. Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Madeline Gins

 

2019/02/07~2019/04/27

At Graham Foundation, Chicago



 

Tour details:

Graham Foundation, Chicago, February 7, 2019 – April 27, 2019

Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery / Columbia GSAPP, March 30, 2018 – June 16, 2018

 

Outline of Graham Foundation, Chicago

February 7, 2019 – April 27, 2019

http://grahamfoundation.org/public_exhibitions/5886-eternal-gradient

 

Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient traces the emergence of architecture as a wellspring of creativity and theoretical exploration for the artist Arakawa (1936–2010) and poet and philosopher Madeline Gins (1941–2014). Including over 40 drawings and a wide-range of archival materials, this presentation illuminates a pivotal moment within a collaborative practice that spanned nearly five-decades.

 

In the early 1960s, Arakawa and Madeline Gins began a remarkably original and prolific partnership that encompassed painting, installations, poetry, literature, architecture, urbanism, philosophy, and scientific research. Complementing their independent artistic and literary practices, their collaborative work  launched with visual, semiotic, and tactile experiments that questioned the limits and possibilities of human perception and consciousness. During the 1980s—a critical juncture in their careers—this line of inquiry became increasingly spatial as Arakawa and Gins together developed a series of speculative architectural projects that sought to challenge the bodily and psychological experience of users. Through these investigations, the artists began to articulate their concept of "Reversible Destiny," arguing for the transformative capacity of architecture to empower humans to resist their own deaths.

 

Eternal Gradient uncovers a little-known body of visionary work that anticipated the artists’ subsequent commitment to architecture and their realization of various “sites of Reversible Destiny,” including: Ubiquitous Site-Nagi’s Ryoanji (1994, Okayama, Japan); Yoro Park (1995, Gifu, Japan); Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka (2005, Tokyo, Japan); Bioscleave House (2008, East Hampton, New York); and Biotopological Scale-Juggling Escalator (2013, New York City), completed by Gins after Arakawa’s death.

 

Eternal Gradient originated at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and is made possible, in part, by the Estate of Madeline Gins and through a partnership with the Reversible Destiny Foundation.

 

The exhibition was curated by Irene Sunwoo, GSAPP director of exhibitions and curator of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, with Tiffany Lambert, GSAPP assistant director of exhibitions. The Graham Foundation presentation is organized by Sarah Herda, director, and Ellen Alderman, deputy director of exhibitions and public programs. The exhibition design is by Norman Kelley, a Chicago & New York architecture and design collective founded by Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley.

 

(Shusaku) Arakawa (1936–2010) was born in Nagoya, Japan and attended the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Renowned for his paintings, drawings, and prints, as well as his visionary architectural constructions, Arakawa was one of the founding members of the Japanese avant-garde collective Neo Dadaism Organizers and was one of the earliest practitioners of the international conceptual-art movement of the 1960s. After moving to New York from Japan in 1961, Arakawa produced diagrammatic paintings, drawings, and other conceptual works that employed systems of words and signs to highlight and investigate the mechanics of human perception and knowledge. Throughout the following decades Arakawa continued to exhibit at museums and galleries extensively throughout North America, Western Europe, and Japan, with works that grew in scale and visual and intellectual complexity.

 

Madeline Gins (1941–2014) was an American poet, writer, and philosopher. She grew up in Island Park, NY, and graduated from Barnard College in 1962 where she studied physics and philosophy. While studying painting at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1962, Gins met Arakawa and she would become one of the primary interpreters of Arakawa’s work. With Arakawa, Gins developed the philosophy of “Procedural Architecture” to further its impact on human lives. These ideas were explored through three books that she co-authored with Arakawa: Pour ne Pas Mourir/To Not to Die(Éditions de la Différence, Paris, 1987); Architectural Body (University of Alabama Press, 2002); and Making Dying Illegal – Architecture Against Death: Original to the 21st Century (Roof Books, New York, 2006).

 

The Reversible Destiny Foundation was founded in 2010 by Arakawa and Madeline Gins to promote their work and philosophy in the areas of art, architecture, and writing. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting research and greater public interest in the ideas and artistic practice of Arakawa and Madeline Gins through a range of initiatives to further advance and preserve their legacy.

 

Irene Sunwoo is an architectural historian and curator based in New York. She is Director of Exhibitions and Curator of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Her exhibitions at Ross Gallery include Model ProjectionsNo. 9 by Frida EscobedoLiam Young: New Romance, and Offsetted, a forthcoming exhibition by Cooking Sections. Prior to joining GSAPP, she was Associate Curator of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015). Her book In Progress: IID Summer Sessions was published in 2016 (AA Publications/Graham Foundation), and her writing has appeared in Grey RoomJournal of Architectural EducationAA FilesGetty Research Journal, Domus, and The Avery Review, among other journals. Currently she is preparing a book on Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association, and a separate publication on Arakawa and a Madeline Gins.

 

Norman Kelley, a New York and Chicago-based architecture and design collaborative, was founded by Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley in 2012. Norman Kelley’s work seeks to explore architecture and design’s limits between two- and three-dimensions. Along this spectrum, their work re-examines architecture and design’s relationship to vision, prompting its observers to see nuance in the familiar. The practice has contributed work to the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial (2014) and the first and second Chicago Architecture Biennials (2015, 2017), in addition to being the recipients of the United States Artist’s Architecture and Design Fellowship (2018), and the Architecture League of New York Young Architect’s Prize (2014). Their collection of American Windsor chairs is currently represented by Volume Gallery in Chicago.

 

 

Related Events

Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient Opening Reception

February 7, 2019, 5:30 pm.

 

Political Reading of Arakawa+Gins
Léopold Lambert

February 21, 2019

 

Near/Miss: Bollingen Prize Poetry Reading
Charles Bernstein

April 17, 2019

 

 


 

 

Outline of Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery / Columbia GSAPP

March 30, 2018 – June 16, 2018

https://www.arch.columbia.edu/exhibitions/70-arakawa-and-madeline-gins-eternal-gradient

 

The exhibition Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient traces the emergence of architecture as a wellspring of creativity and theoretical exploration for the artist Arakawa (1936-2010) and poet and philosopher Madeline Gins (1941-2014).

 

In the early 1960s, Arakawa and Madeline Gins began a remarkably original and prolific collaboration that spanned nearly five decades and encompassed painting, installations, poetry, literature, architecture, urbanism, philosophy, and scientific research. Complementing their independent artistic and literary practices, Arakawa and Gins' creative partnership launched with visual, semiotic, and tactile experiments that questioned the limits and possibilities of human perception and consciousness. During the 1980s—a critical juncture in their careers—this line of inquiry became increasingly spatial as Arakawa and Gins together developed a series of speculative architectural projects that sought to challenge the bodily and psychological experience of users. Through these investigations, the artists began to articulate their concept of reversible destiny, arguing for the transformative capacity of architecture to empower humans to resist their own deaths.

 

The exhibition examines this pivotal exploratory period through a stunning array of original drawings—many exhibited for the first time—as well as archival material and writings that illuminate the working methods and wide-ranging research interests of Arakawa and Gins. It uncovers a little-known body of visionary work that anticipated the artists’ subsequent commitment to architecture and their realization of various “sites of reversible destiny,” including Ubiquitous Site-Nagi’s Ryoanji (1994, Okayama, Japan); Yoro Park (1995, Gifu, Japan); Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka (2005, Tokyo, Japan); and Bioscleave House (2008, East Hampton, New York).

 

Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient features over 40 hand drawings, an architectural model, and archival material including ephemera, research materials, poetry, manuscripts, photographs, slides, and other items drawn from the Estate of Madeline Gins and the Reversible Destiny Foundation.

 

 

Related Programs

Conference: Encounters with Arakawa and Madeline Gins

Date: March 30, 1:00-6:00pm 

 

 

A half-day conference on the occasion of the opening of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery exhibition Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient. The event convenes architects, artists, historians and writers to offer fresh interpretations of Arakawa and Gins’ work and theories in the context of contemporary practices and scholarship.

 

Among the conference participants are:
Amale Andraos, Dean of Columbia GSAPP and co-founder of WORKac;
Adrienne Hart, Artistic Director/Choreographer of Neon Dance (London), who is developing a new dance piece that draws on the life and work of Arakawa and Gins;
Momoyo Homma (Tokyo), Director of Co-ordinologist Inc.;
Lucy Ives (New York), an author who is currently editing a collection of writings by Gins;
Andrés Jaque (Madrid/New York), founder of Office for Political Innovation;
Thomas Kelley and Carrie Norman (Chicago/New York), founders of architectural and design office Norman Kelley and exhibition designers of Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient;
Léopold Lambert (Paris), Funambulist editor and architect, who has written extensively on Arakawa and Gins’ partnership and worked closely with Gins in her later years;
Spyros Papapetros (New York), Associate Professor, History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University;
Miwako Tezuka (New York), art historian who is Consulting Curator at Reversible Destiny Foundation/Estate of Madeline Gins

 

Organized by Columbia GSAPP Exhibitions.
Free and open to the public.

 

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