Highlight Gallery recently announced that they will be featuring two artists whose bodies of work are influenced by architecture, Filip Dujardin and Renato Nicolodi. Their work, which will be up from November 3rd to December 12th, reflects the passion and interest which Highlight Gallery founder and curator Amir Mortazavi cultivates for architecture. With these two artists, the answer to the eternal question, ‘Is architecture art?’ is easy to find. More information on the event and their work after the break.
Filip Dujardin’s ‘Fictions’ series is composed of numerous photographic plates of architectural spaces that transport viewers to inhabit a possible historic re-evolution. The idea of constructing temporal spaces asks, ‘are we trying to inhabit these places differently?’ He began his photographic practice as an architectural photographer honing his eye on the sculptural qualities of buildings. Recognizing their volume in space with their own laws of proportion, he explored their eloquence and expressivness. After documenting works that existed in reality, he soon felt the need to control their aesthetics and emancipate himself from existing forms to create his own.
Without the traditional architect’s restraints to build with engineers and regulations, Dujardin designs with complete freedom. He shoots acual buildings, transforming them with advanced technologies into post-modern ‘Fictions’. Through a rationalization of the production process, he erases windows and doors, and changes proportions of a column or roof to create abstractions and interstices. Utilizing a digital archive he has amassed of concrete walls, patinas, and windows with weathered expressiveness, Dujardin projects his own ideologies into futuristic and non-functional forms. The fact that his ‘high-tech buildings with low tech skins’ appear in public spaces lend them a status of cultural monument in possible universes.
Renato Nicolodi’s spatial installations solidify time and space in motionless mass of concrete. Not a trace of human presence, pr maybe indirectly, as a soundtrack with accidental sounds in the background. As if the human hand was never involved. Nicolodi’s installations refer to archetypical architecture models. Real and ambiguous signs of timelessness and duration. At the same time, paradoxical signs. They are monoliths of a recent date and visual anchor points. Mental beacons in a time in which society found itself in a gigantic digital momentum where everything is questioned: science, technology, nature and the role and identity of man in it. His architectonic models have a minimalist import. His systematic, dry approach gives these models a classical austerity, which which Renato follows in the footsteps of the language of forms of major Utopian architects such as Etienne-Louis Boullee and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Renato’s spaces start out from a mathematically-ordered grid. The spaces are arranged and organized departing from the stereotomic figures such as cubes and pyramids; perfect and introverted in their abstract, purified form.
They are typological signs from our collective memory with names such as Mausoleum, Observatory, Belvedere, Atrium, Panopticon. Nicolodi’s installations translate themselves as abstracted monuments that, in their plastic isolation, in turn raise questions about the role, legitimacy and ambiguity of the historic consciousness in our society. No one remains unmoved by the vital questions. For more information, please visit the gallery’s website here.