Artist: Lebbeus Woods
Venue: ROOM EAST, New York
Exhibition Title: Zagreb Free Zone @ 25
Date: May 1 – 31, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of ROOM EAST, New York
On the 25th anniversary of Lebbeus Woods’ project Zagreb Free Zone (Muzej za Umjetnost i Obrt, Zagreb, 19 April – May 22, 1991, with Leo Modrcin), ROOM EAST presents drawings, a model, and ephemera related to the original exhibition. The installation format is based on Woods’ own design.
Lebbeus Woods: Zagreb-Free-Zone, Project Description:
In order to encourage the networking of autonomous individuals, free of monumentalized institutions of culture and in the name of revitalizing the true, unseen culture of Zagreb, the center of the city is declared a Free-Zone, comprised of a communicative network of Freespaces. This network is invested with the authority inherent in the distinctiveness of the individuals whose thoughts and actions animate and maintain it.
The criteria of a Freespace is as follows:
1. No a priori determination of use: use must be invented by those who dare to claim Freespace as their own.
2. Difficulty of occupation: the faint need not apply.
3. Absence of discernable order: hierarchy is frustrated; heterarchy is unavoidable.
Each Freespace is constructed as a mobile / kinetic structure and is located and re-located in the streets, courtyards and squares of the city by transport helicopter.
Freespace is not invested with predetermined meaning. Strictly speaking, it is a “useless” and “meaningless” space. The physical difficulties resulting from the eccentricity and complexity of its spatial configuration (the opposite of an easily assumed neutrality), require occupation to be of a forceful, even adversarial kind. Freespace provokes extreme conditions, within which living and working are energetically engaged with a broad range of physical and mental phenomena.
Each Freespace contains instrument stations—computers and telecommunications devices for interaction with other Freespaces and locations in the world, and with other inhabitants. Each also includes instrumentation for deepening the experience of the extra-human world, the forces of wider nature at every scale, from atoms to the cosmos: individual human existence is extended into a dynamic form of human community and into nature as a whole.
In the past, it was the principal task of architecture to monumentalize the most important institutions of culture by the creation of an urban hierarchy of forms and spaces that correspond in a physical way to the hierarchy of authority embodied in the institutions themselves. Today, even though hierarchies of authority necessarily remain in place, a new system of order has taken root in global urban culture: the heterarchy.
The heterarchy, or network, is a system of organizing space, time and society comprised of autonomous, self-inventing and selfsustaining individuals and groups, the structure of which changes continually according to changing needs and conditions. The individual living within such a system is characterized by the existential burdens of freedom, but also by the singular rewards of bearing them without illusion.
The manifestation of heterarchies in the contemporary city is largely hidden, because it emerges from within spaces of individual living and works invisibly from there outward. It exists as elusive, ephemeral, continually changing pattern of free communication emanating from and received within isolated, yet distinct spaces of habitation.
LEBBEUS WOODS (May 31, 1940 – October 30, 2012), was an American architect, architectural theorist and educator, whose principal teaching post was the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union. Books and pamphlets include Einstein Tomb (1980), Origins (1985), OneFiveFour (1989), Terra Nova (1991), Anarchitecture: Architecture is a Political Act (1992), War and Architecture (1993), Radical Reconstruction (1997), Earthquake! A Post-Biblical View (2001), The Storm and the Fall (2003), System Wien (2005), Lebbeus Woods: Experimental Architecture (2005) and Slow Manifesto: Lebbeus Woods Blog (2015). Works are in private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Carnegie Museum of Art; Getty Research Institute for Arts and Humanities; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; Museum Fur Angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Muzej za Umjetnost i Obrt, Zagreb. Recipient of the Progressive Architecture Award for Design Research; Institute Honor of the American Academy of Architects; Daimler-Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design; the Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.