4 nov 2011


Last week I visited the exhibition that is currently running at the Barbican titled OMA PROGRESS.

When the Barbican invited us to make an exhibition about ourselves, we wanted to use the notoriously "dificult" spaces of the gallery to our advantage. Like an art fair, each room could be an isolated booth, displaying one of the many typologies of OMA's work and preocupatons, from libraries to XL towers to museums to preservation to China to Lagos to energy to museum display techniques.

But after OMA's apotheosis of self-enactment on Content, our last mayor exhibition, at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin eight years ago, we realised that an interpretation by outsiders would be the logical next step. So we decided to surrender control of the exhibiton to Rotor, esperst at dimantilating constructions noth material and rhetorical. In a sense Rotor in the anti-OMA: boderline material feishits, comtemplative types, slow, resistant, consensus-driven, a group of young architects who decided for some reason not to be architects.


We began this project without much acquaitance with the work of OMA. Since they had already been working for months to prepare this exhibition, we felt it best to pick up where they had left off. We embraced the idea of an "exhibition of exhibitions". If OMA is a cake, how to cut into equally interesting pieces? Per region, per period, per notion, per project, per size? After several attempts, we prepared our final proposal and sent 300 pages of explanation on Friday to OMA and barbican for discussion on Monday. On Sunday we had a change of heart and killed the idea. We came up with an alternative that was further removed from OMA usually presents its projects. We called the "exhibition of exhibits". Reiner de Graaf: "isn't that what every exhinition is?" Rotor: "yes. We had proposed a classic: a few hundred items carefully placed within a space".


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