Swiss Institute Annual Architecture and Design Series: Inaugural Edition, Fin de Siècle, curated by Andreas Angelidakis
Sep 17 - Nov 23 2014
Swiss Institute announces the inaugural edition of its Annual Design Series, an exhibition curated by renowned Greek-Norwegian architect Andreas Angelidakis entitled Fin de Siècle. A curatorial homage to Eugène Ionesco’s 1952 absurdist play “The Chairs,” the exhibition will include an eclectic array of late 20th century design pieces sourced from museum and private collections. Presented in an immersive mise-en-scène, this unique selection of chairs resonates with the drama of Ionesco’s tragic farce, 20 years after the celebrated avant-garde playwright’s passing.
The exhibiton will include pieces by Martine Boileau, Mario Botta, Andrea Branzi, Marcel Breuer, Nacho Carbonell, Oswald Dubach, H.R. Giger, Pierre Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier), Reto Kaufmann, Wilhelm Kienzle, Gian Franco Legler, Frédéric Levrat, Alessandro Mendini, NN, Paolo Palucco, Charlotte Perriand, Gaetano Pesce, Ugo La Pietra, Bruno Rey, Alfred Roth, Peter Shire, team form ag, Kurt Thut, Peter Truog, Robert Venturi, Lawrence Weiner, and Armin Wirth.
In “The Chairs,” an elderly couple recounts the demise of civilization to a stage full of empty chairs. Absent of any sitters, the audience is left to imagine the invisible figures that the increasingly incoherent Old Man and Old Woman address. In Fin de Siècle, the chairs themselves speak asynchronously, cast as characters and imbued with life. Directed into small vignettes of imagined conversations and actions that transcend periods and design movements, their dialogue echoes the modernist promise fading away.
Curator Andreas Angelidakis writes: “In our current moment of plurality and infinite flux, these objects from the past era of grand movements are juxtaposed with one another. Let us contemplate their inaudible conversations.”
Highlights include seminal innovations in mass production by Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, and Armin Wirth; experiments in utopian design by Pierre Jeanneret; imaginative creations that extend reality by H.R. Giger and Alessandro Mendini; and whimsical splashes of color by Robert Venturi and Peter Shire.
At this moment the audience would have in front of them … empty chairs on an empty stage decorated with streamers, littered with useless confetti, which would give an impression of sadness, emptiness and disenchantment such as one finds in a ballroom after a dance; and it would be after this that the chairs, the scenery, the void, would inexplicably come to life … upsetting logic and raising fresh doubts. –Eugène Ionesco
Swiss Institute thanks the lenders to the exhibition, Vitra Design Museum and Dennis Freedman.
About Andreas Angelidakis
Trained as an architect, Andreas Angelidakis switches roles between artist, curator, architect and teacher. His multidisciplinary practice often focuses around the internet, and the perceptive and behavioral changes it has brought about. Recently, Angelidakis worked at Garage, Moscow on a space for the exhibition of instruction-based artworks DO IT; curated and designed a survey exhibition of the Dakis Joannou collection at DESTE foundation in Athens; designed a show of contemporary magazines at the Haus der Kunst in Munich; and created the installation Crash Pad, which acted as the preliminary statement for the 8th Berlin Biennial. Angelidakis’s work is currently the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Greece. It is also part of the Greek Pavilion at the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Upcoming shows include Period Rooms at the Niuewe Institut, Rotterdam, and designing the exhibition architecture for a survey exhibition of film director Alejandro Jodorowsky at the CAPC in Bordeaux.
SWISS INSTITUTE PROGRAMMING IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH PUBLIC FUNDS FROM PRO HELVETIA, SWISS ARTS COUNCIL, AND IN PART BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND THE NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS, WITH THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO AND THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE. MAIN SPONSORS INCLUDE LUMA FOUNDATION, FRIENDS OF THE SWISS INSTITUTE (FOSI), AND UBS. SWISS INSTITUTE GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGES USM MODULAR FURNITURE AS SPONSOR OF THE 2014 ANNUAL DESIGN SERIES, SWISS AS TRAVEL PARTNER, AND CHELSEA HOTELS AS HOSPITALITY PARTNER. THANKS TO PRÉSENCE SUISSE FOR PUBLICATION SUPPORT. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR THIS EXHIBITION AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY YABU PUSHELBERG AND THE ROYAL NORWEGIAN CONSULATE GENERAL, NEW YORK. MEDIA SPONSPORS: PIN-UP, SURFACE.
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- Private: Opening Reception | Swiss Institute Annual Design Series: Inaugural Edition, Fin de Siècle curated by Andreas Angelidakis
- Curator Talk | Andreas Angelidakis and Beatrice Galilee, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Panel | Everything that is solid melts into airbnb with Alessandro Bava, Andrea Branzi, Rachael Yu and Aaron Taylor Harvey of Airbnb, hosted by AIRBNB Pavilion (Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava, Luis Ortega Govela, Octave Perrault)
- Conversation | Artist Amie Siegel and Nicholas Cullinan, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on Provenance
- Conversation | Radical Cities: Author Justin McGuirk with Beatrice Galilee, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Conversation | Architect Andrés Jaque with Beatrice Galilee, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Panel | Alternative Design Practices in NYC with Elizabeth Beer and Brian Janusiak, Rafael de Cárdenas, Jiminie Ha, Geoff Han, Kristian Henson, and Ryan Waller, moderated by Ellen Lupton
- Conversation | Architect Frida Escobedo with Beatrice Galilee, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Artist Talk | Strauss Bourque-LaFrance: Pretzel Logic
- Fin de Siècle | T Magazine | Su Wu
- Fin de Siècle | New York Magazine | The Approval Matrix
- Fin de Siècle | Dwell | Allie Weiss
- Everything Solid Melts into AirBnB | Dis Magazine | Marvin Jordan
- Fin de Siècle | Vanity Fair | Rachel Tashjian
- Fin de Siècle | The New York Times | Ken Johnson
- Fin de Siècle | Contemporary Art Daily