Baukunst: Incomplete Works in Berlin
The exhibition Incomplete Works will be presented at the Architektur Galerie in Berlin from March 23rd till May 6th.
The point of departure for the exhibition Incomplete Works is the simple question if one must think of buildings as something to be finished. Can one conceive of architectural projects not as desperately static objects, but as perpetual construction sites, ever unfinished, always in motion? The French philosopher Bruno Latour wrote: “the problem is that when we picture a building, it is always as a fixed, stolid structure.„ Yet architecture, burdened with the momentous responsibility of its ostensible permanence in a climate of accelerating instability, all too often takes refuge in simplistic ideas such as eternality or flexibility. Incomplete works are both the obtuse, sturdy objects that buildings inevitably are, and something open to transformation, foreseen and unforeseen.
While fundamentally different in program, context, and ambition, two recent projects, are interrogated about their potential to negotiate issues of phasing, obsolescence, memory, re- and pre-use. One is the redevelopment of the residual volumes of La Defense, sunken concrete islands, jammed between subterranean highways and rail tracks, the other, an incineration plant in the periphery of Zurich, an ever-changing agglomeration of machines, planned for a centennial timespan. Both introduce multiple, juxtaposed times, they produce and consume them, leaving the project suspended in-between myriad temporalities. Attempting to do away with the hereditary habit of eliminating time from space, the exhibition investigates the construction of construction.
The scenography will make us of construction site elements, structuring the gallery space through formwork and lighting. Cross-cutting the two projects with two models and a video essay, will explore their similarities and differences. Mounting visualizations, plans, collages and references, quotes, and descriptions the essay attempts to elucidate the difficult relation between the conception of a project, its relation to time and its representation through and against time.
Combining art and technology, dialoguing and interplaying various forms of knowledge, BAUKUNST is committed to explore architecture as a medium with which both to think about building (BAU) and build ways of thinking (KUNST). BAUKUNST was founded by Adrien Verschuere in Brussels in 2010. Key projects include La Fraineuse, a polyvalent sports facility (Spa, 2017), Frame, a building for offices and television studios (Brussels, 2018 –), and the redevelopment of the residual volumes of La Defense (Paris, 2019 –).
The work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Bozar, Brussels in 2019, Solo Galerie, Paris in 2020, and the Trienal de Arquitectura, Lisbon in 2022. From 2019, Adrien Verschuere is Visiting Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
Incomplete Works is part of a series, originating from the exhibition Performance & Performativity, shown at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Baukunst, shown at Solo Galerie in Paris and Tendency & Fact, shown at Carpintarias de São Lázaro in Lisbon. The series was initiated by Wallonia Brussels Architectures in collaboration with the Architecture cell of Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Incomplete Works is co-produced by A+ Architecture in Belgium, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts Brussels and coordinated by Architecture Curating Practice.