Saturday, 10 September 2011

'Architecture as Air'

Junya Ishigami standing in
front of his barely visible
'Architecture as Air'
28 June - 16 October 2011, The Curve at the Barbican

If you're looking for something to do in London in the next few weeks, you could always go to the Barbican. Aside from the futuristic architecture of the concreate empire itself, there is a fantastic exhibit by the architect Junya Ishigami titled 'Architecture as Air'. Extremely thin pieces of carbon fibre (thiner than rain drops, poetically) are invisibly secured upright along the space without use of the walls or ceiling. The structure appears to balance on air and suggests a new direction for architecture. It's a fascinating and magical piece that fills the entire curve space.

Ishigami featured in last year's architectural Venice Biennale. It seems he's one of those groundbreaking leader types who inspire others to think outside the box. I've never really been too interested in architecture, looking at buildings and ways of improving lifestyle in that highly consumerist sort-of-way, but if this is the future I'm going to be creaking my neck back more often. Luckily as the staff didn't know much about how the piece was constructed I was fulfilled by the mystery of the production, but could see that this would put some people off.

One other thing that might annoy is the wait to see the piece. Because it is so fragile only 6 people are allowed at a time. Apparently, a few weeks ago one visitor misunderstood the instructions and jumped over the barrier, only to become tangled up in the piece. It had to be closed to allow Ishigami's team to fly over from Japan an fix it. We went on a Saturday afternoon (peak time) ond only waited 30 minutes, so really not that bad if it will stop people geting tangled).
See more about the show here.

'Watch Me Move' 15 June - 11 September 2011, Barbican Art Gallery
If you want to make a day of it, you could alway invest £10 on tickets to the animation show upstairs. It's called 'Watch Me Move' and is not so highbrow as other exhibitions, but has some little gems in there too. Including some short films on autism titled 'Snack and Drink', 'A is for Autism' (below), and another different clever little film called Tango (click for link). Be warned - these pieces are much better seen at the show, at least view them in full screen please. Also there is some very elegant bits of curation in the show, as I'm often wondering how best to present film this gave me some great ideas.


1 comment:

  1. I really like this piece. Like you I don't really think about architecture. Except perhaps in wondering why most houses are designed as boxes and out of touch with the way most people loive these days. The Guardian and Observer gave away free booklets on Architecture this weekend. Perhaps I should have kept them?


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