architecten jan de vylder inge vinck/inge vinck jan de vylder architecten + Claudia Losi + Caretto/Spagna
a project by Elena Quarestani
curated by Federica Sala
architecten jan de vylder inge vinck/inge vinck jan de vylder architecten + Claudia Losi + Caretto/Spagna
a project by Elena Quarestani
curated by Federica Sala
From 4 September to 16 October
From Wednesday to Friday 3 to 7pm, Saturday by appointment
Special opening during Salone del Mobile Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Saturday 11 September 3 to 7pm
Sunday 19 September Caretto/Spagna performance from 4 to 8pm
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September 4 to 8pm
Access upon reservation on Eventbrite
More info email@example.com
The fifth edition of 1+1+1 continues with a dialogue between three authors who are once again asked to share the space. It is a call to reflect on what it means to “create” today. There is indeed a tendency to always look at the New. “Are you working on something new?” is often asked. What if, for once, the focus was not on the new? What about the existing? Or the everyday?
Three installations that speak of care and attention and of a different, non-invasive way of inhabiting the world.
Jan De Vylder e Inge Vinck (1968 and 1973) live and work in Ghent, Belgium. Together, they founded architectural firm Architecten Jan De Vylder Inge Vinck (AJDVIV). In 2016 AJDVIV co-curated the Belgian pavilion at the 15h International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Italy. They have participated in exhibitions in Venice, Italy 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018; Chicago, USA 2014, 2016; Lisbon, Portugal 2019 and S. Paolo, Brazil 2019. Their projects, for public and private clients, won numerous awards and nominations including Schelling Architektur Preise 2016, Germany; Leone d’Argento, 15h International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Italy; Henry van de Velde 2018, Belgium; Mies Award 2019 (shortlisted).
Jan De Vylder taught at Sint-Lucas School for Architecture, Brussels, Belgium; TU Delft, Netherlands; EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland; Accademia di Architettura USI, Mendrisio, Switzerland; ETH, Zurich, Switzerland (current). Inge Vinck taught at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage, Lille, France; TU, Delft, Netherlands; Accademia di Architettura USI, Mendrisio, Switzerland; Kunstacademie, Düsseldorf, Germany (current).
Claudia Losi (Piacenza, 1971) explores social interactions, twists of human sensibility and complexity of natural phenomena with a multidisciplinary approach where philosophy and literature are combined with science, sociology and anthropology. Losi’s practice includes participatory objects and performances as well as drawing, photography and sculpture. After her studies at Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Italy and at University of Bologna, school of Foreign Language and Literature, Losi showed in Italian and international institutions.
Recent shows include: MAMbo Bologna, Italy; Museo Carlo Zauli, Faenza, Italy; IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy; Stenersen Museum of Oslo, Norway; Le Magasin, Grenoble, France; MAXXI Roma, Italy. Her work has been included in international shows such as Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, China (2016); Wayne State University, Detroit, USA (2014); Sharjah Biennale 8, United Arab Emirates (2007). Losi participated in residencies at Studio Orta-Les Moulins, Paris, France; JCVA, Israel; Art Omi International, New York, USA; NTU CCA, Singapore. Since 2019 she’s co-director of festival Sette giorni per paesaggi, Piacenza, Italy. Her work is represented by Monica De Cardenas Milan-Zuoz.
Andrea Caretto (Turin, 1970) and Raffaella Spagna (Rivoli, Turin, 1967) have been working together since 2002. Their artistic activity stems from the desire to investigate multiple dimensions of reality through the exploration of the complex web of relationships from which things emerge, establishing and re-establishing a relationship with the ‘the other’ in an exercise of attention and care. Caretto/Spagna’s practice is based on an attitude of “presence” and experience in the world, in the attempt to reposition ourselves, as human beings, by moving away from the centre to listen to other subjects, living and non-living. Caretto/Spagna are among the founding members of the associations Progetto Diogene, Turin, Italy and Pianpicollo Selvativo – research centre for arts and sciences, Levice, Turin, Italy. They regularly collaborate with IRIS – Interuniversity Research Institute of the Universities of Turin, Brescia and Aosta and Faculty of the Education Science of the University of Turin, Italy. They are also artistic consultants for Munlab, Ecomuseo dell’argilla, Cambiano, Turin, where their studio is located as well.
Recent solo and group exhibitions include: PAV – Parco Arte Vivente, Turin, Italy; Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella; GAM – Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, Italy; CAIRN (Centre d’Arte Informel de Recherce sur la Nature), Digne-les-Bains, France; Benetton Foundation, Treviso; Fondazione MERZ, Turin, Italy; Bozar Brussels, Belgium; Khoi International Artists, New Dehli, India; Mudam Luxembourg Musée d’Arte Moderne Gran-Duc Jean.
Federica Sala is an independent curator and design advisor. She has been formed in the design department of Centre Pompidou. While back in Milan in 2008 she started to collaborate with Fabrica, miart, 5VIE Art+Design, Airbnb, Vogue Italia, Cassina,… In 2018 she curated, with Patricia Urquiola, the exhibition ACastiglioni at Triennale di Milano. Is now on show the exhibition about Giulio Castelli for the new ADI Design Museum. She is a contributor for various magazines and she has a montlhy colum on Interni. Soon will be released a publication for Rizzoli International.
Elena Quarestani, editor and journalist in a previous life, has conceived, developed and edited magazines, encyclopaedias and limited edition works. It was only after her first exhibition in 2002 – considered a one-off event, a rite of passage for a former printing press establishment – that she decided to merge her passion for art and the building that hosted the family business.
This year’s edition of 1+1+1 continues under the emblem of dialogue between the three authors, called once again to share the space but above all to consider the macro thought on what it means to create today. In fact, there is a tendency to always look towards the new. We often hear the question :”Are you working on something new?”. What if for once the new is not the centre of our attention? Instead, why not the old? Or the day-to-day? What if we realised that what was lacking was our ability to observe things (both near and far)? To understand them after observation and then to arrive at their acceptance? What if we were to practice the difficult art of simplicity, and hidden within was a form of happiness?
On tiptoe, without a clear desire to become a manifesto, the exhibition took shape thanks to three contributions, by making a similar point that emphasises our relationship with the surrounding world and its inhabitants (humans, animals and plants), but also with its natural elements, such as water and light.
Reading the texts by the three authors, one cannot fail to notice recurring terms and how they outline, with the tip of a pencil, the strongly silent message of the exhibition that can perhaps be enclosed in a few words, whose meaning become the protagonist: Present, Lightness, Relationship, Movement.
As if they were animated characters, these elements of our daily life become the fulcrum of the three works. It is no coincidence that the significant speech made by Jan De Vylder and Inge Vinck bears the title onlY. simplY. happY. Three words, one message. Their architectural practice therefore becomes an instrument of visual education, and of thought, in which the visitor is invited to exercise their ability to observe, not to ridicule rather to appreciate that which already exists and already contains all the beauty we need. With its symmetrical repetition in space, the installation opens up a world of infinite details, the discovery of which is an invitation to embrace a change: of perception, of life. It is no coincidence that the value of simplicity is traced with a pencil drawing, within whose lightness lies all the power of the message.
In a completely different way yet at the same time with many similarities, the work of the botanist artists Caretto/Spagna demonstrates a new possibility of creating a relationship with surrounding world, starting from our gaze, and from exercising our ability, a skill which today often lays dormant, to look beyond. Their work therefore brings the importance of water to the forefront, creating a closed chain rendering visible the connection between the outside and the inside. By channelling rainwater to feed a deliberately transparent closed circuit, the artists reveal the flows that are ever present yet hidden within our daily life. And they do this with the precise desire to make us understand the importance of the submerged as a basic factor of growth. The project, not surprisingly called fflux_radici di luce (roots of light), introduces us to the Chinese plant, Discorea batatos, known by anthrophosophist as the “root of light” for its natural properties and its vigorous growth, and this will be the plant – in whose roots its exceptional strength is contained – to bring back the connection between the inside and the outside symbolising a life cycle of which we are a very small cog. Learning to look beyond the surface, to imagine the earth that creates a hill, to respect what cannot be seen. Claudia Losi’s double intervention, gathered under the title Eppure si manifesta la relazione, includes themes of growth, lightness and interactions. The work continues from one of her historical embroidery pieces in which she summarises the importance of lichens: their primordial natural community, but above all how they are a symbol of movement and growth, ever present yet so slow that they become imperceptible to an impatient eye.
In addition to the embroidery, there are tables of plants and small transparent curtains, almost like shells of fog, which guarantee a partial intimacy and at the same time keep us in contact with the outside. Milky-white shelters in which to stay, not to leave, and in which we give importance to the shadows, the mists, the imperceptible movements.
The three authors delicately show us (without imposition) a path that emphasises the hidden, the underground, the everyday and the importance not so much of creation as of the gaze.
An exhibition therefore that speaks of care and attention and of another way of living in the world.
Maybe we should just accept. Not only that, . But accept after we observe. Observe it one more time. Observe it more closely. Observe it from afar. And then understand. What accepting is. What accepting feels. Accepting is free. Accepting is happiness. Accepting is the end. Simple.
This is the world today. Yet there is so much ‘in’ this world today. Do we understand enough how much the world ‘is’ today? Do we still see enough what ‘this’ world is today? Do we still even feel that there is ‘a’ world today?
A world is available. A world presents itself. It is Present // A presence to be celebrated. Even when we did not imagine that we ought to celebrate it anymore.
six + one
We have been Invited in this marvellous space. This marvellous gallery space. Invited to present more ‘next to come’. An invitation that comes with being invited in this space on one of the most exciting moments of the year in Milan. Where everyone is always ‘full of expectations’ for what might be the next: The next invention. The next concept. The next basics. The next ‘next’.
This space. This time. This next. Is the next really the next? Or is the next maybe only good enough as the previous. And can the previous be the next. All previous this can be the next.
Six columns – and one solitary and different around the corner – give this space order and rhythm. These columns support the heaviness of what architecture in se is. At the same time with their position and appearance they turn this heaviness into the lightness this space can have.
At the same time the columns are much more. The columns are there to stay but also to embrace change. The columns are there to guide not only the space but they are also a background to all kind of auxiliary stuff. Technical tubes and ducks and heating components or fire extinguishers and safety signs are repeated and do lead from one column onto the next. Slightly different every time. Slightly the same every time. Different colours. surfaces. Each time the same but adapted differently.
Do we still see this today? These columns are always present but do we still remark their presence? These columns are collecting all kind of things – being structural but also supporting stuff – and in the daily presence just present. Without notice. Without appreciation.
Only from when one is pointing at them and starts to reflect and then comments on them, others start to follow that alternative way of observing.
Arriving for the first time at Assab One in a minute the beauty came to the eye. One minute later it was clear what the idea for this participation would be. Just creating a background to better frame the presence of these columns. Six small white rooms around the columns. For people To be invited in. And to be together with. And to discover the known as the unknown. And by that also learning to understand that what we have – but we might not be aware of anymore– is worth having and by that maybe good enough. Good enough to not need anything else. Anymore.
This might be another take on the most urgent question the world and in extended sense case architecture is confronted with and challenged to today: how to move on. Maybe how to move on might be also about how to live with. With what there is yet.
These columns and the way they are brought back on show stands as an image for that question. It is what is asked to architecture today but no less this image might be question on human condition today. This without any pretence added to the idea of the presentation. One should dare.
The seventh column in the space – we talked about six plus one – is a particular one. It is not in the grid of the others being just around the corner. And it was – the moment of the first visit – just simply white.
After a close observation and not without imagination, this white column becomes a drawing collecting all ideas that can be found on the other columns. How we are changing an attitude in accepting can become inspiring, to not only see the unseen different but also adapt other unimportant actualities into something just slightly differently. Not by an extensive intervention. But by a simple gesture. Maybe like a drawing.
Like a drawing is often no more no less, just an idea. And idea on how to move on with things.
The six columns and in extension the whole space of Assab One share colour. At first these colours seem to be just there. And they are just there. The origin might be just choice – personal and sign of the time, sometimes just a colour as a sign -. And by that without meaning in between each other.
But with a certain eye helping to abstract the colours from their surfaces and possible meaning, colours one next to the other reveal a beauty that makes them like a foreseen and conceived palette of taste.
On the only long wall of the space with rhythm by half columns embedded in it, the seven distinguished colours are celebrated as they are. In between and partly on these half columns just as coloured surfaces. Coloured surfaces as such.
Later on, the building where Assab One is situated was visited. Rooms and spaces. Corridors and staircases. A wonderful world.
On more than one wall traces of the history of the whole complex could be found. One type of trace stayed in the eye. Tiny almost invisible cracks in the plasterwork might point to some ‘movements’ going on or that were once going on. At least it reveals the age of everything at all. But also. As it comes with age. Beauty. Ever beauty.
Here and there in this marvellous realm this gallery space is imbedded in some extra cracks will be added next to the real crack. Tiny pencil lines will find position in between the others.
After a while we will not know anymore which was the real and which the beauty only.
The columns and the column. The colours just the colours. The crack also beauty. Three interventions. Maybe even not interventions. But only introductions. Simple introductions with the only ambition to change the way we are used to approach the things we are surrounded by. A matter of shift. At first, a mental shift. But second maybe not needing a physical shift.
Conceptual thinking leads always from idea to materiality. Contextual thinking fro m reality to change. Maybe accepting what is available to adoration. Adoration of what we forgot to adore.
And by adoring what was not adored anymore just or only becoming simply happy with what we have. Yet.
Available. Accept. Adore.
onlY. simplY. happY.
“And yet relation appears, a small relation expanding like the shade of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.”
Wallace Stevens, Connoisseur of Chaos
“The landscape, which contains me, is a network of growing stains that move on the earth’s surface. It is an entity of surface and surface between one and the other, between stain and stain, twines grow; and between the interweave the void. Not a void of nothing, but a dynamic principle, a non-full space, the place for excellence where metamorphoses take place. Only in this way the stains do not oppose each other, but grow into a relationship. And only within a reciprocal relationship do the stains on the surface grow deeper.
The lichen, the one I am embroidering, is a network of growing stains that move across a stone-fabric surface. It is an entity of surface and surface between one and the other, between rocky roughness and roots, twines grow; and between the interweave the void. In this void space and time rise in a changing manner. Only in this way the rock and the lichen do not oppose each other, but grow into a reciprocal flux. And only in this way does their meeting of surfaces generate depth. Embroidery, as I am doing, is a network of growing stains moving across a dyed canvas surface.
It is an entity of surface and surface between one and the other, between thread and canvas, twines grow; and between the interweave the void.
The embroidered stitch, in fact, is a fullness and an emptiness, a concentrate and a dilute, a proceed and a stop. It is shape and colour, volume and rhythm, it is unique and varied.
Only in this way does the thin thread go through the point, generating depth.”
Claudia Losi, Theories of thread. For an archive of natural embroidery, Bologna, 1996
“If the lichen is the “map” on which to read, on its front and on its back, the movements of growth and relationship, the small universes/curtains, in dense, milky and semitransparent fabric, welcome those who enter, from below and they separate it, creating an intimate space, in a partial relationship. They allow us to look, to see and to be seen partially, like foggy traces.
Relationships, landscapes of mobile relations. The chapel that appears suspended, the white curtains that welcome flowers, candles and sacred images, creating a religious space, but not precisely divided by the context as sounds/ prayers, songs and dances can be heard/seen”
Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, 1947 of The divine horsemen of Voodoo, published by Il Saggiatore, 1959
“We should have got into the habit of moving long ago, of moving freely, without causing trouble. But we haven’t: we stayed where we were; things stayed as they were. We didn’t ask ourselves why this place and not elsewhere, why it was like this and not otherwise. Then, obviously, it was too late. Our habits were solidified. We began to believe that we were fine where we were.”
George Perec, Species of Spaces, 1974
* This quote by Perec is more relevant than ever after what we have been through, making a cannon in relation to the relationships we have been forced to change through our spaces. (C.L.)
ffLux_radici di luce, 2021
Rainwater, PVC Crystal sheet, steel cables, cork, cuttings from various plants, transparent PET, semi precious stones (amethyst quartz, lapis lazuli, turquoise, aquamarine, green chalcedony, green agate, tiger eye stone, yellow chalcedony, red agate, red chalcedony, red coral), Dioscorea batatas plants (or Dioscorea polystachya), soil, PVC Crystal pipes, micro-sprinklers
Zolla ritorna Cosmo, 2021
Clay-rich silt from Cambiano (Turin), water
with thanks to Fornace Carena and Munlab – Ecomuseo dell’argilla di Cambiano
“Clod returns to Cosmos, to give back
to the stars germinative energies
created here by the solar swarm
of herbs and humanity: clod that lives
in skies above humans,
weaving into it tomorrow”.
Adapted from: Arturo Onofri “Zolla ritorna Cosmo”, 1930.
Fratelli Buratti Editori, Turin
“Koberwitz, Whitsun 1924, the agriculture course held by Rudolf Steiner, at the request of many farmers, had just ended. The car was waiting in front of the castle to take the teacher to the station for a train to Wroclaw. At Jena, his next stop, he along with his advisors were waiting impatiently: a curative educational facility was about to be built on Lauenstein.
At this moment Johanna von Keyserlingk, the property owner and Günther Wachsmuth were on their way: ‘One moment’. ‘Doctor Steiner, if we succeed in treating the soil and our vegetables according to your indications and thus rejuvenate them, will the produce provide nutrition appropriate to our times in accordance with the spirit?’
‘Even in the most favourable circumstances, it will not suffice’, Steiner answered. ‘What should be done is to cultivate the Dioscorea batatas in Europe so that it can take over from the potato as the staple diet’. The two interrogators were fortunately smart enough to inquire further. ‘Where does this plant grow and why is it special?’ Rudolf Steiner could only answer the questions briefly, the driver was waiting. But they both felt the importance and seriousness of the short answer. ‘This plant is the only one which is in a position to store light ether within its roots and will be indispensable for people in the future. It grows in China.’ That’s enough for now, the driver insisted, because the train wouldn’t wait.”
* Reported by Johanna van Keyserlingk to his son Adalbert.
Adapted from: Ralf Roessner, Clemens Hildebrandt (2014) “The Light Root: Nutrition of the Future, a Spiritual-Scientific Study”, Temple Lodge Publishing
“Shānyào, the mountain remedy. Its flavour and nature are warm, balanced, with no toxicity. It treats chills, the deep deficit of essence, emaciation, it drives away the perverse energy that leads to cold and heat, it strengthens and tones the centre, it strengthens the muscles and rebuilds the flesh, it treats the chill that goes directly to the head, problems with sight, it stops the chi going down, back pain, it tones the great emptiness (blood deficit), it stabilises the five full organs, it drives away the heat within / agitation, it consolidates the Yin. Post-consumption the ear and the eye become able to hear and to see, sight becomes bright, in the long run it makes the body light, and able to withstand periods of famine. The plants that grow in the mountains (spontaneously) are particularly beneficial; it pacifies and strengthens the “vegetative souls” of the liver and lungs, it gives stability to the heart and spirit, and gives strength to the emotions (…)”
Adapted from: “Bencao gangmu” (1596) by the master of medicine Li Shizen (1518-1593), Ming dynasty. Section dedicated to shānyào