Buildering: Misbehaving the City
Monika Sosnowska, The Stairs, 2013

Buildering: Misbehaving the City

On a busy Friday night that included heading into Kentucky and back, I also made my way to the opening exhibition of Buildering: Misbehaving the City. Curated by Steven Matijcio at the Contemporary Arts Center, it's a look at how we occupy space. According to the CAC's website, "Buildering is a term coined for the unsanctioned use of architecture--fusing the words 'building' and 'bouldering' to describe a rapidly growing movement that reformulates how we live in the city." 

The Contemporary Arts Center, a Zaha Hadid creation, begs that question in its own right, but for this exhibit, 27 artists from around the world have taken part in the conversation. 

Here is what Matijcio has interpreted their art to say:

John Renfroe, Trombone

Art collaborative Knifeandfork (Brian House and Sue Huang) organized a site-specific performance for the opening of this exhibition. From the Black Box to the Penthouse (this photo was taken in the Penthouse, not as glamorous as it sounds) guests discovered a chamber orchestra of adventurous CCM musicians distributed throughout the CAC's public and private spaces.

Los Carpinteros, El Barrio, 2007

In El Barrio ("The Neighborhood"), Cuba's deteriorating architectural infrastructure and developing world dreams become a contradictory lens to explore the larger relationship between city and citizen. Like Brazilian fazelas stacked precariously one upon the other, the cardboard shanties in this installation climb towards the celing in a jumble that evokes social housing mid-collapse or re-formation. 

Monika Sosnowska, The Window, 2013

Sosnowska's work draws from the checkered cityscape of Warsaw and its litany of defunct Soviet-era buildings, industrial zones, and historic reconstructions of neighborhoods destroyed during World War II. The Window bends a Bauhaus-style window frame into a skewed form resembling both a hanging bat and a closing book.

Michel de Broin, Jeux de Tables, 2014

The work of Michel de Broin delights in theatrical contradiction, inviting competing references to take up residence in material form. Jeux de Tableswhich translates to something between "board game" and "house of cards" turns 24 otherwise ordinary desks into a multi-tiered structure without rules or resolution.

Didier Faustino, Home Suit Home, 2013

Faustino is a French-Portuguese artist and architect who freely blends his respective fields to create provocative hybrids. Home Suit Home speaks to a reformulated residential frontier, transforming the bizarre act of cloaking oneself in carpet into the garment of a future being.

Monika Sosnowska, The Stairs, 2013
(Top image on the page)

Stairs and staircases have appeared frequently in Sosnowska's work, none of which would be deemed structurally sound. In this work she removes the railing that typically guides (and limits) traveelrs, thereby collapsing both the function and instruction of stairs into a twisted braid. 

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I can tell you from experience had I gone into Friday's opening with this information in mind, I would have had a much easier time digesting the exhibit. That being said, you have no excuse. Buildering: Misbehaving the City runs through August 18 at the Contemporary Arts Center.  



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