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Madame Wu and the Mill from Hell: Thomas Demand and Adam Caruso open study-exhibition
Thomas Demand, Haltestelle, 2009, C-Print/Diasec, 240 x 330 cm© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / SprüthMagers Berlin - London.

ROME.- Meeting Architecture, the British School at Rome’s new programme, curated by Marina Engel, will run for the next few years. It will consist of lectures, study-exhibitions and performances by some of the leading figures in architecture, art, film and sound and will analyse the nature of collaboration between architecture and some of the other creative processes.

This programme is in partnership with the Royal College of Art who will also host the lectures in London.

Thomas Demand and Adam Caruso will open the programme on 29 October 2013 with a conversation and study-exhibition: Madame Wu and the Mill from Hell. The Anglo-Canadian architect and the German artist have collaborated for many years and this event will provide a rare opportunity to hear them discuss the nature of their collaborations as well as present for the first time an analysis of some of their work together. The Italian critic and curator Mario Codognato will moderate the discussion.

Projects presented include: Thomas Demand’s exhibition at the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2009; Nagelhaus, the redesign of the Escher-Wyss-Platz, Zurich, 2007 – 2010 and Thomas Demand’s house, near Berlin, that has just been completed this summer. Documentation will include a selection of models, photographs, drawings and films.

In Britain, “This is Tomorrow” at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956 saw artists, architects, musicians and graphic designers working together in a seminal art exhibition. The crossing of boundaries between the different creative processes has since become a characteristic of British culture. Internationally as well, contemporary architects are designing an increasing number of art spaces, galleries and museums as well as concert halls, performing arts spaces, fashion sets, technological institutions etc. They are constantly expected to understand and accommodate the creative processes of other disciplines in order to design their work successfully. This process has also led to a number of fascinating collaborations, most notably between artists and architects, two fields that are historically closely linked.

Meeting Architecture will examine some of these collaborations and focus on those rarer examples in which architects and artists conceive and design the projects together as opposed to architects inviting artists to decorate a finished building. The programme will also consider sound and look at some of the projects that unite architects and composers focusing on how architecture, venue and context can help shape the artistic output of composers, an area that has not been widely investigated. The concept of cinema as the architecture of moving space has often been discussed. However, there has been little consideration of how many film directors, directors of photography and scenographers have been trained as architects and of the considerable influence that this has had on their work in film.

Some of the themes investigated in the programme include: What are the convergences and the divergences in sources of inspiration, working methods and aims? How does understanding the creative process of other callings help to develop the practice of one’s own discipline? How can one define creativity in architecture? Does architecture as a practice risk losing its autonomy and ethical status with so many interdisciplinary crossovers?

Finally, Meeting Architecture will also reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of the British School at Rome and indeed of many of the other foreign academies in Rome in which a variety of scholars and professionals from an extremely wide range of disciplines live and work together.

Future participants include: Reinier de Graaf (OMA), Amos Gitai, David and Peter Adjaye, Cecil Balmond and Daniel Libeskind, Vivien Lovell, Eric Parry and Richard Deacon, Wouter Vanstiphout (Crimson Architectural Historians), Richard Sennett, Thomas Schütte and Alfredo Pirri and many others.

Discussion moderators include: Francesco Garofalo (architecture), Mario Codognato (architecture and art) Irene Bignardi (architecture and cinema), Martin Brody (architecture and sound).

Thomas Demand and Adam Caruso will lecture at the Royal College of Art on December 5th 2013.

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