Experience Demented Architecture at City Gallery

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Media Release: April, 2015. 

City Gallery takes a light-hearted look at the relationship between architects and artists in a new exhibition featuring artworks from across the globe. Thick with satire, Demented Architecture, 27 June – 8 November, explores the role of architecture and the mythology of the architect from a contemporary art perspective. The show includes video, sculpture, painting… and Lego. 

Made up of thousands of white Lego pieces, Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s The Cubic Structural Evolution Project explores the power of architecture to determine, experience and maintain social order. Visitors are invited to ‘become architects’ and participate in the construction, modification, destruction and re-construction of the work. Following seasons at Auckland Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, City Gallery’s presentation will be the first time the project has been shown in New Zealand within a wider context, alongside other contemporary works.

For the first time in Australasia, City Gallery presents the highly staged and stylised videos of Slovenian artist Jasmina Cibic. Cibic’s The Fruits of Our Land (2013) represented Slovenia at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Videos from this project, restaging historical debates around the relationship between art and architecture, will show alongside her recent A Double Game (2014). Cibic’s films are accompanied by wallpaper designed with variations on the Anophthalmus Hitleri — an endemic Slovenian beetle discovered and named by entomologist and Nazi supporter, Oskar Scheibel.

Scottish artist Henry Coombes’s video  I Am the Architect, This is Not Happening, This is Unacceptable (2012), pictured above, was shown at the 2014 Biennale of Sydney. This dark, noisy and mesmerising work is set inside the confused mind of retired modernist architect ‘Clive’ (inspired by the artist’s father) as he slowly surrenders himself  to the impulsive and chaotic values of art.

There’s also: Wellington artist Kirsty Lillico’s soft sculptures that parody the utopian visions of modernist architects like Le Corbusier;  and a set of boxes from Polish artist Zbigniew Libera for his LEGO Concentration Camp  project of 1996.  Originally sponsored by Lego, but withdrawn following controversy, limited edition sets are now held in major collections such as the Jewish Museum in New York and the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw.

Demented Architecture
27 June – 8 November  2015
City Gallery Wellington
Free Entry | citygallery.org.nz

Media enquiries and images, please contact: olivia.lacey@wmt.org.nz, 04 801 4258