Art in Architecture? Architecture in Art?
Writer: Ram Jung
I have an architectural background before getting into the boundary of art. Among a vast number of developments in architecture, I was particularly fascinated by Deconstructivism. When I began my study in photography, I often questioned myself, 'how can I connect where I have been and where I am now?' I still struggle getting the answer or finding my own way to communicate with the current art world.
I had a chance to visit Sarah Oppenheimer’s exhibition, D-33, in New York 2012.
Oppenheimer is a New York-based artist known for her spectacular architectural interventions manipulated by beautiful and delicate installation of architectural device. The installation makes the uncanny feeling of space created by the artist and provides unexpected surprises to visitors.
Her artistic style has a deep connection with Modernism and Deconstructivism in architecture. Le Corbusier's innovative approach to architecture opened the door to the new world of seeking new technology and functions of space. One of his inventions is the freedom to have open space of windows and doors. In the time of Deconstructionism, a great number of architects studied and applied philosophy to their designing process in order to be closer to their ideal forms of architecture. They freed themselves from the traditional designs of architecture, from Modernism and Post- Modernism. As a result, they opened the door to new world with tremendous figures and structures in terms of positions of architectural factors and even breaking the basic function of factors.
At D-33, I was greatly amazed by the artist's delicate organization of the open space, having the perfect balance between architectural ruptures through the entire space and between the viewers and artworks.
Oppenheimer has rearranged the walls of P.P.O.W. forming a symmetrical configuration of six spaces and connecting them with a pair of slanting, four-way openings that function as doorways and sometimes more like windows. Additionally, Oppenheimer’s installation connects the six rooms of the gallery, playing with the visual and physical distance experienced by the viewer. One of the six openings is blocked by sheets of mirrored glass that indicate its inaccessibility. Such discrepancies complicate our perceptions without noticeable variations.
The definition of breaking boundaries in art world is quite not comprehensible. However, Oppenheimer’s work indeed presented the aspect of art with broken boundaries. Architecture is art itself, but perhaps, she stepped out from the shell of architecture to another boundary, which is installation art or sculpture.