The architect’s gaze at the world: a storage of resources, a terrain to conquer, a plinth for his creation. In Ayn Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead”, the protagonist Howard Roark is not only an ideal model of the modern architect, whose buildings are not obliged to any tradition or community; at the same time he is a radical individualist, acting autonomously and creating autopoietically. This exaggerated manifestation of a fully emancipated subject - a phantasm of unfettered capitalism, as Rand constantly preached it - has its price: everyone is on his own. This paradox of being unbound is at the core of the exhibition “Alleinanspruch (Sole Claim)” conceived by Arne Schmitt and Nico Joana Weber. In his photographic series and the film “Mit weniger mehr schaffen (Make More with less)”, from 2016, Schmitt, addresses the practical side of modernism. Based on architect Ernst Neufert’s “Bauentwurfslehre (Architects’ Data)” and his buildings in Darmstadt Ledigenheim (Bachelors’ Hostel, 1952-55), he analyses the consequences of rationalisation and standardisation for the individual. Nico Joana Weber’s extensive installation featuring the new 3-channel video-projection “Land of Enchantment” is devoted to an area whose harsh climatic and geographic conditions defy human habitation. In New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin there are five locations encapsulating the history of mankind in a confined space with heavy contrasts in a kind of time lapse. The experience of landscape takes place here in sensed solitude. One is thrown back upon oneself, grasping the limits of what can be shaped permanently.
Arne Schmitt / Nico Joana Weber
Temporary Gallery – Centre for Contemporary Art