News from Nowhere: Chicago Laboratory

Exhibition design at Louis Sullivan gallery, 2013

“News from Nowhere” is an exhibition in 2013 that took place at the “Chicago Laboratory.” The exhibition was presented in a 1,000 square-meter space with Chicago-grid columns designed by an American master architect Louis Sullivan. It presented two video pieces “El Fin del Mundo” and “Avyakta” by the exhibition organizers and artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho. There were also works by architect Toyo Ito, fashion designer Jung Kuho, Kosuke Tsumura, Yu Jin Gyu, design firm MVRDV, and Takram. Takram exhibited “Shenu: Hydrolemic System” from September 21 to December 21, 2013, and worked on the exhibition space design.

BACKGROUND: News from Nowhere

“News from Nowhere” was first exhibited in Kassel, Germany, in 2012 at “dOCUMENTA(13).” This installment is an exhibition as well as an open platform for studying the current and the future world. Organizers Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho gathered talented thinkers and artists for this mutually emergent project to explore the roles, social functions, and meaning of art in the current times. In 2013, “Chicago Laboratory” in Chicago, US, was chosen as the next exhibition location. Both in name and in reality, the space became a laboratory for study and creative process, a platform for lectures and workshops, and a point for other public programs.

THEME: A dilapidated earth environment a hundred years in the future

Video work “El Fin del Mundo” by organizers Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho depict a world where human life is on the verge of extinction, and survival has become the top-most priority. Just like the tragic and culture-less society in this video, when our world becomes devoid of prejudice and preconceptions, what are the elements of civilization that enable the survivors to gather and rebuild art, design, culture, and views of life? This question became the starting point for this exhibition, and therefore, the platform.

CONCEPT: Coordinate system in an unseen world

In order to bring order and civilization to a new world as imagined by this exhibition, one must plot “coordinates.” The space design of this exhibition embodies the coordinate system plotted in this unseen, dilapidated world.

The Cartesian rectangular coordinate system is useful on a plane but becomes uneven when projected on a spherical surface. Fuller’s geometrical coordinates are made of twenty planes to minimize this imbalance. Both of these perspectives, however, insist on a universal order. The virtual future of this exhibition does not call for such universal and off-the-shelf order systems. Based on this thought, the exhibition space designed with Sullivan’s famous “Chicago Frame” is filled with a hexagonal grid distorted by the traffic flow, information direction, density, circulation, layout and relationships between the artworks. The result is a gigantic “cabinet of curiosities.”

CREDIT

Project Lead & Architectural Design: Kaz Yoneda(ex-Takram)
Art Direction: Moon Kyungwon, Jeon Joonho

Special Thanks: Generous support for the artists has been provided by Hyundai Motor Company, LB Investment, and Nefs Co. Ltd., along with Asiana Airlines in cooperation with GALLERY HYUNDAI, Seoul. Special thanks is also extended to the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, for their support of the exhibition.
Takram design engineering would like to thank Mary Jane Jacobs, Executive Director, and the dedicated members of Sullivan Galleries, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, for their countless hours, making this exhibition space design possible and executing Takram’s design to its fullest extent.
Also, many thanks to Kris Budelis and Hiroki Sato for their assistance as interns.

© 2013 Takram design engineering

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