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  3. OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-Designed Installation for "An Occupation of Loss" Opens Today at Park Avenue Armory

OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-Designed Installation for "An Occupation of Loss" Opens Today at Park Avenue Armory

OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-Designed Installation for "An Occupation of Loss" Opens Today at Park Avenue Armory
OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-Designed Installation for "An Occupation of Loss" Opens Today at Park Avenue Armory, An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

Artist Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu has designed An Occupation of Loss, a major new performance work choreographed around an OMA-designed monumental sculptural setting consisting of 11 concrete wells. Located at Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall, and co-commissioned by the Armory and Artangel, London, the performance piece focuses on “the anatomy of grief and the intricate systems that we devise to contend with the irrationality of the universe.”

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota +11

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

Designed by OMA’s New York office, the 11 concrete wells, each measuring 45 feet in height, will be activated by the presence of 30 professional mourners from around the world each evening. The wells are constructed of eight stacked, industrial concrete rings, which distribute their structural load onto a continuous platform. Integrated lift holds allow for easy disassembly to facilitate their transportation to new venues.

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

“Like Zoroastrian “towers of silence,” the installation makes explicit the never-ending human need to give structure to death in order to understand it,” explain the architects in a press release.

“The design was sonically-motivated, focusing on the performative act of loss rather than its physical manifestation, which has been historically marked by multiple scales – from tombstones to the World Trade Center Memorial,” says Shohei Shigematsu. “The industrial wells were configured into a readymade ruin that responds to both personal and monumental dimensions."

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

Each towering structure provides the setting for the orchestrated ritual of mourning, emphasized by the “collective presence, absence, and movement of the audience within the installation.” The wells have been designed to amplify and reverberate sound waves, functioning as a discordant instrument.

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

The performances will be inevitably unrepeatable, as the interaction between the mourners and the audience and set will create unique reactions and movements. The mourners’ recital will feature texts from a variety of sources, including: Albanian laments, excavating “uncried words”; Venezuelan laments, safeguarding the soul’s passage to the Milky Way; Greek laments, binding the story of life with afterlife in polyphonic poetics; and Yezidi laments, mapping a topography of exile.

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

“The professional status of these mourners—performing away and apart from their usual contexts—underscores the tension between authentic and staged emotion, spontaneity and script,” the architects add. “During the daytime, visitors are invited to activate the sculpture with their own sounds, as a subtle drone created from recordings of the mourners’ rituals provides echoes of the evening performances.”

An Occupation of Loss will be on view at the Armory from September 13 – 25, 2016, after which it will be packed up and transported to be presented by Artangel in London next year.

A review of the work can be found at the New York Times, here.

News via OMA.

An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota
Cite: Patrick Lynch. "OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-Designed Installation for "An Occupation of Loss" Opens Today at Park Avenue Armory" 13 Sep 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/795207/oma-shohei-shigematsu-designed-installation-for-an-occupation-of-loss-opens-today-at-park-avenue-armory/>
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An Occupation of Loss / Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu. Image courtesy OMA. Image © Naho Kubota

OMA大都会建筑事务所和建筑师Shohei Shigematsu装置项目“An Occupation of Loss”对外开放