Soft Architecture – Charim Galerie

On Thursday 26 March, Part 2 of the ongoing exhibition series Soft Architecture, organized by Michael Hall, will take place at the Charim Galerie in Austria.

The first series was presented in February at the HBK-Braunschweig featuring Christoph Meier and Marcus Geiger, along with a second companion exhibition which was organized at Document (Chicago) featuring Geiger and Margaret Welsh. What links these exhibitions is the utilization of exhibition architecture as an object which orientates all other objects (paintings, sculptures, etc.) within the exhibition while still remaining pure sculptural object and to see the exhibition as a flexible system where elements can be taken-in and -out during the course of the exhibition.

Soft Architecture in the context of this exhibition series is about the temporal (or soft) nature of the exhibition which is built and then unbuilt in a rather quick succession. Part 1 of the exhibition (opened 19 March) features a large flexible structure from Christoph Meier which is a grouping of five tent-like structures running the entire length of the gallery space. This structure can be re-/dis-assembled during the exhibition to accommodate other works.

Meier’s soft structure intersects two hard points in the gallery creating a tension between the temporal and static architecture. As the gallery space remains somewhat empty these 2 contact points act as disruptors and become a focus point for the viewer. Together, Christoph Meier and Nicola Pecoraro create the only other work in the gallery by melting recycled scrap aluminum and beer cans directly in the gallery space and then pouring it into a mold forming a long horizontal 1m high band that burns the wall when it comes into contact. The aluminum pour maintains its fluidity even after its cooled forming hardened puddles. Here, gravity, fluidity and smoke become important signs within the show, pointing to a renewed interest in the physical experience within the cultural digitalization of our visual/information experience.

The term ‘soft’ was used in 1960s and ’70s to describe new tendencies in architecture that were skeptical of modernism; ‘soft’ was deemed to enable individualism, responsiveness, nomadism, and anarchy. Archigram, Buckminster Fuller, Cedric Price, and Yona Friedman were among soft architecture’s forerunners, later Hans Hollein’s (Mobile Office, 1969) and projects from Haus Ruecker Co. would follow. What connects these projects is their attempt to develop strategies that shifted from the malleability of a material to the flexibility of a system. In so doing they developed new characteristics of ‘soft’. (architizer.com/blog/soft-architcture)

Christoph Meier (*1980, Wien) SOLO 2015 soft architecture (with Nicola Pecoraro), Charim Events, Vienna /AT; soft architecture (with Marcus Geiger), HBK Galerie, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig/DE; 2014 M (with Ute Müller), Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv/BG; 2013 Artissima, Present Future, Collicaligreggi, Turin/IT; Galerie Kamm, Berlin/DE; 2012 Nosbaum & Reding, Luxembourg/LU; Collicaligreggi, Catania/IT; 2011 Galerie de l‘espace Diderot, Rezé – Nantes/FR; Secession, Vienna/AT (cat.)

Nicola Pecoraro (*1978, Rome & Vienna) SOLO 2015 soft architecture (with Christoph Meier), Charim Events, Vienna/AT; 2014 Ve.Sch, Vienna; 2013 collicaligreggi, Catania/IT; 2012 Galleria S.A.L.E.S., Rome/ IT; 2011 Italian Cultural Institute, New York/US; 2010 Galleria S.A.L.E.S., Rome/IT; 2008 (no) vacancy, curated by Luca Lo Pinto; Galleria Maze, Torino/IT; Fette’s Gallery, Los Angeles

Part 2: Opening 26 March with added works from Marcus Geiger, Margaret Welsh, Molly Zuckermann-Hartung and others…

Part 1: Opened 19 March Christoph Meier and Nicola Pecoraro

Charim Galerie – Dorotheergasse 12, Austria
3 March – 25 April 2015