Wolfgang Tillmans: Book for Architects

Wolfgang Tillmans – Book for Architects. Two channel video installation in ‘Elements of Architecture’ Central Pavilion, 14th Architecture Biennale Venice, curated by Rem Koolhaas

We have been fans of Wolfgang Tillmans’ work for years and were interested to see he had an installation at the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice, curated this year by Rem Koolhaas. Book for Architects, is a two channel video installation that is part of the ‘Elements of Architecture’ Central Pavilion. So how exactly does a photographer such as Tillmans end up in the realm of architecture? He explains his installation:

“Over the past ten years, I have photographed buildings in ordinary and extraordinary contexts in 37 countries on all five continents. Displaying the complexity, and the irrationality, sometimes madness, and at other times beauty of architecture – these pictures in their totality seem to me a little daunting, but have always been taken with a kind eye. I’m aware that archtecture is an expression of desires, hopes and ambitions, as well as myriad practical needs and limitations, which shape a structure’s design. Seen in mass and the world over, I am fascinated by the infinite number of formal and structural solutions human logic found for similar problems.

Book for Architects is not a book design but a video installation, presented as a looped projection of still images on two walls. My interest is not a typological approach, but to show a sequence and an arrangement of images that echo what examples of the built environment look and feel like to me. I don’t use wide-angle or shift lenses, but a standard lens that most closely approximates the perspective of the human eye. The various elements of architecture appear here at times clearly and cleanly, and at other times in a layered and convulted way. As such, the installation represents, and emulates, the randomness, beauty and imperfection that characterizes built reality, both past and present.”

Tillmans’ work can also currently been seen at Manifesta10 until October 31, at the Dahlem Museum as  part of the 8th Berlin Biennale until August 3rd, and at the New National Gallery in Berlin as part of the exhibition Extention of the Combat Zone 1968-2000 with other artists such as Barnett Newman, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Katharina Sieverding, Tübke, Rebecca Horn and Andreas Gursky.


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