SCI-Arc presents Figure Ground Game, An Architecturalists Show by Jeffrey Kipnis + Stephen Turk
Exhibition Discussion & Opening Reception: Friday, January 17th 7 pm – 9 pm
Show Runs Through: January 17 – March 2, 2014
Jeffrey Kipnis + Stephen Turk: Figure Ground Game, An Architecturalists Show
Like the Greek Demigod Antaeus, Architecture derives its most mysterious and ancient powers from its contact with the earth. For millennia, it has used those powers to stage the realms of Pharaohs, Emperors, Popes, the Rich and the Powerful. With the advent of Modernism, the desire to redeploy its powers to more egalitarian ends captured the minds of the century’s greatest architects, from Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe to Archigram to John Hejduk, an ambition that gave rise to the single most important statement in the discipline’s history—Architecture or Revolution—the oft-cited chapter title from Corb’s Vers une Architecture. In every case, a central motif in that enterprise has been a revised relation between building and ground and all the consequences that such revision entails. Lift the building off the ground, turn it into a floating inflatable, set it into motion, turn the ground into a building, turn the building into the ground. Even today, 100 years into that tale, revisiting yet again architecture’s relation to the ground continues to drive many of our most adventurous experiments.
The Figure Ground Game, a multimedia, multidisciplinary romp, draws upon animation, film, computer games and art to reaffirm and amplify architecture’s ongoing speculative contest with instantiated power staged on the ground. Not an exhibition, but rather a curated show, the Figure Ground Game features the work of a half-dozen architects, painters, a sculptor and more, all related to one another by a desire to mine the tradition and history of figurality in the arts as it has been inflected in recent years by technology, media and the discourse of enfranchisement in order to rethink the consequences of the building-ground relationship a step or two further.
Among the conjectures foregrounded in the show are new building postures, co-dependent structures, non-local contextualism, and perhaps most important of all, an assertion of a desire to see comedy achieve an equivalent status to tragedy in architecture, as it has for centuries in all of the other arts to the profound increase in their powers and the resultant existential benefit to each and all of us.
Exhibition curator: Jeffrey Kipnis, Professor, The Ohio State University
Chief Architect: Stephen Turk, Professor, The Ohio State University
Architecture: Stephen Turk, John Yurchyk, Paul Adair, and Ryan Docken , all of The Ohio State University; Mr. Docken courtesy of Captain Dust
Painting: Fabian Marcaccio (NY), Maurice Clifford (Atlanta)
Sculpture: Beverly Stephens