Preview: Psycho Buildings, Hayward Gallery, London
Art is in the house at the Hayward
Monday 26 May 2008
What exactly is a psycho building? According to Ralph Rugoff, the director of the Hayward Gallery and curator of Psycho Buildings: "The exhibition takes its title from a book of photographs of odd structures by the artist Martin Kippenberger. A lot of urban spaces are very regimented, and a 'psycho building' is something that breaks out of this and reveals that our relationships with space can be extremely varied."
To celebrate the Hayward's 40th birthday, the gallery will be giving itself over completely to 10 of these psycho buildings and it couldn't be more appropriate, says Rugoff: "The exhibition was inspired by the radical architecture of the Hayward, which has never conformed to what an art gallery should look like. Most architecture tries to repress our awareness that there are multiple ways that we can we can relate to, and use, spaces we occupy. In that sense, this show really explores the architectural unconscious."
The 10 artist-designed architectural environments include Rachel Whiteread's Village made from more than 200 doll's houses, each illuminated by a single lightbulb which has never before been seen in the UK. Mike Nelson's two rooms, with plastered walls that look as if a wild animal has brutally clawed through them, will also be on show, as will the Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros' torn-apart rooms, full of suspended furniture as if frozen in a moment of explosive disaster.
Other psycho buildings include the Korean-born artist Do-Ho Suh's sculpture Fallen Star, featuring a scale model of the artist's childhood home, in Korea, hurtling into the New England apartment where he later lived; the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto's two-domed sensory environments made of Lycra; and a boating pond by the Vienna-based collective Gelitin.
"Architecture is usually designed with one thing in mind: to shop, read, or look at pictures," says Rugoff. "These artists call attention to the many ways we look at space."
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