Liam Young

Planet City

Planet City, by Los Angeles-based film director and architect Liam Young, explores the productive potential of extreme densification, where 10 billion people surrender the rest of the planet to a global wilderness. Although wildly provocative, Planet City eschews the techno-utopian fantasy of designing a new world order. This is not a neo-colonial masterplan to be imposed from a singular seat of power. It is a work of critical architecture – a speculative fiction grounded in statistical analysis, research and traditional knowledge.
It is a collaborative work of multiple voices and cultures supported by an international team of acclaimed environmental scientists, theorists and advisors. In Planet City we see that climate change is no longer a technological problem, but rather an ideological one, rooted in culture and politics.

AES+F

The Feast of Trimalchio: Arrival of Golden Boat

Del Satyricon di Petronio, spiritoso e lirico malinconico dell’epoca dell’imperatore Nerone, ci pervenne quasi intatto solo il capitolo dedicato alla cena di Trimalcione. La fantasia di Petronio fece del nome di Trimalcione il simbolo della ricezza e del lusso, del vizio della gola e della lussuria in barba alla fugacità della vita umana.
Abbiamo cercato di presentare qualcosa di simile nelle realta` del Terzo Millennio. Così, abbiamo visto Trimalchione, ex servo, liberto, nuovo ricco che dà conviti di molti giorni nel suo palazzo, invece che una persona, come un’immagine generalizzata di un hotel di lusso, una sorta di paradiso terrestre, il soggiorno in cui è prepagato.
Gli ospiti dell’hotel – i ‘padroni’, esponenti del “miliardo dorato”, cercano di dedicare parte del loro tempo, in qualsiasi stagione, al soggiorno presso Trimalcione odierno che ha arredato il proprio palazzo – hotel con il massimo esoticismo e lusso. L’architettura del Palazzo Hotel rappresenta un’assurda sintesi della spiaggia tropicale con la stazione sciistica. I ‘padroni’ indossano abiti bianchi che sembrano, da una parte, l’uniforme dei giusti dell’Eden temporaneo, dall’altra, la tradizionale uniforme coloniale, e, al contempo, una collezione estiva alla moda. I ‘padroni’ impersonano tutte le caratteristiche dell’umanità: ci sono, tra di loro, personaggi dai bambini ai vecchioni, hanno certi segni psicologici e sociali: un pofessore è dissimile da un broker, una donna di mondo da una intellettuale. I ‘servi’ di Trimalcione, giovani e carini esponenti di vari continenti (asiatici, africani, latinoamericani), il personale dell’industria alberghiera, dalle cameriere ai cuochi, ai giardinieri, alle guardie e ai massaggiatori. Sono tutti giovani e belli e indossano uniformi tradizionali di vario colore a seconda dell’etnia. Sono una specie di ‘angeli’ “di colore” del paradiso al quale i ‘padroni’ possono accedere per un certo tempo.

 

Kengo Kuma

Botanical Pavilion
To realize the ‘Botanical Pavilion’, Kengo Kuma worked alongside Geoff Nees — a melbourne-based artist and curator who has also worked on a number of architectural pavilions. Made in the japanese tradition of wooden architecture, where pieces interlock, held by tension and gravity, the structure at the NGV triennial features a tessellated interior lined with timber collected from trees felled or removed over several years at Melbourne’s royal botanic gardens. Some of the trees used within the architecture pre-date european settlement, while others signal the development of the gardens as a site of scientific research and botanical classification. Prioritizing natural phenomena over scientific order, the botanical species used are color-coded, rather than following any taxonomic order. this approach offers a statement by the designers against the reductive nature of science during the colonial era — a mindset at odds with many indigenous cultural beliefs and knowledge systems.

MOUNIR FATMI

منير فاطمي
Evolution or Death

Fatmi inverts spectacular representations of identity by rendering them mundane and within reach of a subject that may scramble any conclusive narrative. Fatmi’s work counters strategies of interpellation that identifies a subject with an ideology prior to that subject’s ability to place their identity in or beyond a particular ideology. Fatmi parodies the various interpellations of colonialism and capitalism that seek to define others according to symbolic narratives. In Evolution or Death, 2004, (fig. 4) two Anglo-European looking subjects imitate suicide bombers with books and papers taped around their abdomens. One holds open a trenchcoat and another holds up a book that looks like a detonator attached to wires. Fatmi reverses the situation. These are not the suicide-bombers from Arab and Muslim countries. Instead, they appear to be of European descent in a European street or modern room in casual clothing.

Rina Banerjee

She’s my country
The Indian born, New York City based artist Rina Banerjee has a love of materials, heritage textiles, ethnicity and fashion, colonial objects and furnishings, historical architecture, and their ability to disguise, animate, locate their inherent meanings in her art work. While sculptures and drawings, paintings use a fusion of cultures and unravel our connected experiences an explosion of differences alternate the way we receive our identity. Banerjee says her work explores “specific colonial moments that reinvent place and identity as complex diasporic experiences intertwined and sometimes surreal.”

Michael Neville

Colonial Turd