Artists: Åyr, Marte Eknaes
Venue: Cookies, Rotterdam
Exhibition Title: Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard?
Date: April 24 – May 29, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Cookies, Rotterdam
Coinciding with the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2016 Cookieshas organized a group exhibition with Åyr (formerly known as Airbnb Pavilion)and Marte Eknæs. Set in a modernist apartment originally designed by renown Dutch architect Hugh Maaskant (1907 1977) the exhibition confronts the ideals and aspirations of its iconic architecture with ambiguous contemporary iterations of domesticity and public space. Installed in the inhabited household, the artworks merge with the domestic environment and interact with the outdoor, inducing a subtle or even surreptitious displacement of preconceived paradigms at home, not at home … home alone.
Marte Eknæscolonizes the first floor. Items from the public space are brought as compositions of objet trouvés into the flat to propose new ways of looking at the increasing invasion of the public sphere within our private lives. Stripes of antislip industrial tape highlight the inherent peril of the Dutch staircase generating a minimalist pattern (Antislip). A large banner (Public Hygiene) hangs from the balustrade and is visible both from the street and from the interior upscaled hygienic tools encounter street furniture on an abrasive metallic surface. Interfering with the movements in the kitchen the high absorption factory snake (Lubetech) overemphasizes the eventuality of spills in today’s rather asepticised processes of cooking or cleaning. Corners protections (Angel Pubes) are scattered reminding of potential threats to the integrity of the architecture. An asphalt floor print (Feelings) covers the entire surface of the smallest room of the flat with a composition of street rubbish items, manholes and grills. A bollard found in Rotterdam meets a photographed graffiti floor (Intentions). The graffiti print sits at the original street height, revealing the depths of street furniture and how it penetrates the asphalt surface. As night falls, an animation showing an automated cityscape becomes visible both from the inside and the outside of the living room window (5/4 City / A notch above with Michael Amstad).
Åyrfocuses on the two bedrooms on the top floor. Rather than comforting the petit bourgeois ideals embedded in its architecture, they shift the focus towards queer domesticity.
A soundscape of queer flatshare ads depicting household rules and ambitions, mixed with statements on belonging, emanate from a colored cube. These descriptions challenge the typical and seemingly apolitical nuclear family model promoted by home sharing platforms (Lay back, and feast as this audio guides you through new and exciting positions, Homes for Queers London and surrounding). Painted duvets transform the conceptual architectural grid of the 70’s utopias into a wearable element of universal coziness (The Grid), while distorted ceiling decors dramatize the proportions of the room, in a forced anamorphosis (OMA DecorTM #1 #2 #3 #4). These purely ornamental features are milled out from blue insulation foam, a material traditionally used in architectural offices to produce study models. Dutch porcelain souvenirs are highlighted in the cupboard. The title of the piece and eponymous to the title of the show (Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard?) is the last sentence of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with its realm of animated objects as an allegory of the smart home.
ÅYR, formerly known as AIRBNB Pavilion, is an art collective based in London whose work focuses on contemporary forms of domesticity. Founded by Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava, Luis Ortega Govela and Octave Perrault. Recent exhibitions include: Comfort Zone at Frieze Projects, London (2015), New Comers at Project Native Informant, London (2015), Aspects of Change Bold Tendencies, Peckham (2015), Schöner Wohnen at Armada, Milan (2015); Welcome You’re In the Right Place at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015)
Marte Eknæs(b. 1978 in Norway) studied at Glasgow School of Art, California Institute of the Arts, and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She currently lives and works in Berlin and Espa, Norway. Continuous observation and questioning of our urban surroundings is at the core of Marte Eknæs’ practice. Recent exhibitions include Arranged for Effect, Trondheim Kunstmuseum (2013), Foyer Exhibition (with Marianne Hurum), Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2015), Calculus of Negligence (with Sean Raspet), Room East, New York (2015), Now Open Free Parking at What Pipeline, Detroit and Boom! at Rise Projects, London (both with Nicolau Vergueiro, 2015). Her book Formal Economy was published in 2015 by Mousse Publishing.
Cookies is a collective of four designers based in Rotterdam. Formed by Antonio Barone, Alice Grégoire, Federico Martelli and Clément Périssé in 2015, Cookies works as a platform and catalyzer for art and architecture. Cookies recently published an article on the future of domesticity for elderly in the Rotterdam magazine MONU (A nice little normal village). The installation Digital Fossils (created for the exhibition Utopian Dreams) can be seen at Tent Rotterdam until July 10.