until 04.10. | #2782ARTatBerlin | Haus am Waldsee shows from 18th July 2020 the exhibition Revolutions of Choice of the architect duo Frank Barkow and Regine Leibinger.
In a loose sequence, the Haus am Waldsee as a place of contemporary visual art also presents international architects who maintain their offices in Berlin. With GRAFT (2012), Haus-Rucker-Co (2015) and J.MAYER.H (2016), leading architectural artists were presented who also have their roots in the USA through study and teaching. In the summer of 2020, Haus am Waldsee will be dedicated to the American-German architect duo Frank Barkow (*1957) and Regine Leibinger (*1963), whose work has been able to develop globally from Berlin since the 1990s.
After studying at Harvard University, Barkow Leibinger founded an office in Berlin in 1993. Frank Barkow has taught as a visiting professor at leading American universities as well as in London and Lausanne. Regine Leibinger also taught internationally, in addition to her joint construction activities, and held a professorship at the Technical University of Berlin from 2006 to 2018. Today both partners share a professorship at Princeton University.
Barkow Leibinger is one of the pioneers of a generation of architects who are constantly trying to expand the boundaries of their discipline through materials research, digital fabrication techniques and the mechanical production of buildings. At the same time, they maintain a close connection to artistic-experimental practices. The interplay between technology and man – from both an artistic and technological point of view – is manifested not only in Barkow Leibinger’s large-scale buildings, but also in her temporary pavilions and in newly developed materials. In the process, the boundaries between accessible sculpture, building component, ornament and function dissolve.
Through digitalization, work profiles and structures become fluid. In between, there is architecture, which both reacts to technological requirements and has to mediate between the new and the old working world. In a special way, the architectural design of the working world today has a kind of buffer function, which has to incorporate a latency of development speeds. Thus it is the task of today’s architects to create a balance between the individual who is only slowly coming to terms with the new world of life and the technology which is accelerating every second.
Barkow Leibinger face up to this highly topical complex. Their architecture is always concerned with mediating both poles. Again and again they have to weigh up between mechanical-functional requirements and aesthetic-human scale and find a middle ground. For years, Barkow Leibinger has been answering the question of what qualities remain for the people who live or work in the spaces of digitalization by combining strictly modern functionality and ornamentation. Specially developed materials and artistically designed forms, which refer to different cultural traditions, create moments in the otherwise increasingly aseptic and alienated work spaces that give people with their analog needs their central place.
In a creative dialogue with artist colleagues, Barkow Leibinger formulates her demand on architecture to focus on people as users of unusual spatial constellations. Based on this interdisciplinary approach, their self-image has developed over more than two decades into an interplay of practice, research and teaching. Examples of this experimental approach have already been presented in several international exhibitions, including the prominent AA, Architectural Association in London in 2009, the Architecture Biennales 2008 and 2014 in Venice, the Marrakech Biennale 2012 in Morocco, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017. Individual objects and models can be found in the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt am Main, in the collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The heart of the exhibition is the newly interpreted pavilion in the Skulpturenpark am See, which Barkow Leibinger developed in 2016 as a “Summer House” for the Serpentine Gallery in London. In front of the exhibition house, visitors already encounter a passageway made of two concrete walls created by a new casting process using infra-lightweight concrete and used as an innovative building material by Barkow Leibinger.
Inside the house itself, the ground floor features high racks that display a wealth of material studies and models. Visions, experiments, built and unbuilt are spread out and commented on in a compressed form. In the rooms on the 1st floor, material quotations can be experienced on a scale of one to one. Here visitors can physically experience spatial experiments in a very direct way.
The exhibition attempts to view the entire work under two aspects: Barkow Leibinger’s distinct talent for material experiments and her passion for temporary buildings that resemble walk-in installations. The show covers over twenty years of work and takes place throughout the interior and exterior of the building. It is aimed at an audience that is interested not only in built results but also in development processes in contemporary architectural practice.
Curated by: Ludwig Engel and Katja Blomberg
Exhibition catalogue: Katja Blomberg (Ed.), Ludwig Engel. Hardcover, 64 pages, Verlag Walther König, 24 Euro.
There will be an all-day symposium “Revolutions of Choice?” with Barkow Leibinger, Philip Ursprung, Konstantin Grcic and others on the subject of new materials and experimental building on 29.8. from 11 – 18 o’clock. This will be followed by a public open-air artist dinner.
Exhibition period: Saturday, 18th July to Sunday, 4th October 2020To the Exhibition venue
Exhibition Barkow Leibinger – Haus am Waldsee | Zeitgenössische Kunst – Exhibitions Berlin Galleries – ART at Berlin