November 16 - 22, 2015
Opening Reception: Monday, November 16, 6:30 - 8:30pm
CP Projects Space
132 W 21st Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10011
When a system that is not alive is isolated or placed in a uniform environment, all motion usually comes to stand still very soon as a result of various kinds of frictions […] after that, the whole system fades away into a dead, inert lump of matter. A permanent state is reached, in which no observable event occurs. The physicists call this state of thermo-dynamical equilibrium, or of “maximum entropy.”—Erwin Schodinger
Up until now, buildings have been considered inorganic structures. Architects tend to envision them as organic creatures by referring to the building’s structures as “bones,” or walls and surfaces as “skin.” They also talk about “breathing” and “seeing” through windows and doors. Even in this metaphorical condition, one cannot talk about living without thinking about the dead. Naturally, decay follows death. It refers to the dissipation of energy, to the presence of entropy within a system.Decay is as life-giving as it is life-taking. But most architects still avoid this fact to protect their ideas, hopes and aspirations. Incorporating decay in the design process reorders the authority of creativity, away from architects toward other forces, such as natural, economic and political powers.
Today, we need to establish a new form of architecture that drifts and reconstructs itself, incorporating the exigencies of catastrophe. From financial crisis, ecological disaster, growing inequality, and any number of other pressures, we now live in this historical moment of constant mutation that is empowered by the abundance of knowledge and threatened by distraction and failure within these new socio-political and economic structures. As the late, great American architect Lebbeus Woods suggests, we need a practice that does not shy away from the catastrophe that Postmodernism found among the torn bedrock of Modernism’s foundations but embraces its best impulses: a practice that builds not against ruin, but with it; a practice that rekindles the embers of enlightenment and freedom among the ashes.
The exhibition features Elaine Byrne, Farideh Sakhayifar, Keiichi Matsuda and Kiyarash Eghtesadi, with works in various media, including video, installation, sculpture and photography. This group of artists, architects and designers are brought together to explore the new conditions of this old phenomenon. Their interest in effects and manifestations of decay in new contemporary architecture is the thread that gathers their works together, yet their unique perspectives and distinct practices create numerous possibilities of interaction between their works.