Site: Sol Koffler Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design
City/State: Providence, RI
And for every authentic artist this means the desire to remake, not in order to effect some change (which is the mark of superficial people) but out of a strange profundity of feeling for things, in order to see what action develops in the same context, or how, conversely, the context makes slight alterations in the action.
(Aldo Rossi, Scientific Autobiography,1981)
What is the agency of contextualism today? How do we recollect biographies of recontextualized objects? Why do we need to decontextualize? Context is architectural. Context is historical. Context is cultural. Context is social. Context is economical. Context is political. Context is a transformative hypertext.
In relating with preexistence, architecture and design not only pragmatically respond to the functional demands of the context or formally react to the tangible architectural environment, as if they are playing in a static and autonomous field of intervention. They also relate to the imperceptible infinite layers of contexts in transformation embedded in the place in the form of History, a Bejaminian subject of construction whose site is not homogeneous, empty time but time filled full by Jetztzeit, the here and now. A Jetztzeit that is a contemporary and at the same time a condensed image of the past and a representation of the transformation of the culture, politics and society.
Is to this definition of context that architects and designer react in the choice of contextualizing, decontextualizing and recontextualizing, an act that, at the scale of the city, the interior or the exhibition, is never ingenuous or unwitting. The manipulation of the spatial conditions, permanent or temporary, imply an intervention to the Jetztzeit which will affect in the same way substantial environment, users’ memory and transformative narrative of a complex contextual hypertext.
The exhibition aims to recreate an abstract decontextualized architectural context where visitors wonder through a series of scattered volumes in relation. Students models and drawings, subject of the displayed collection, are recontextualized in the new gallery environment where in their turn narrate different action or abstraction on context.
Team: Ankit Madawewala, Japneet Pahwa, Rashmi Ravishankar, Yuyi Si, Zixu Wang, Ziyu Wei