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DESIGN DETAILS: MONO.KULTUR #36 RICARDO BOFILL

Restraint can be a tricky thing sometimes when it comes to design, especially when you have to capture someone like Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, with more than 30 years of a turbulent career and over a hundred built projects in just about as many styles to his name.

For our current issue mono.kultur #36, we had the unique opportunity to have access to Bofill’s archives, with literally hundreds of images that had never been published before, so it was obvious to us to treat the issue as a sort of visual rollercoaster ride through the many little quirks and spleens of Bofill’s architectural oeuvre, zooming in on details, creating unexpected pairings and cross references, without any explanation whatsoever.

So what about those naked frolicking bodies that illustrate the text, you ask? These are stills from some experimental films that Bofill made in the 1970s, and felt so appropriate for the decadence and grandeur surrounding the Bofill clan; architecture often feels like such a sterile profession devoid of any sexuality, and if anyone has an antidote to that particular predicament, then it must be Ricardo Bofill.

Bofill’s career undertook a sharp turn in the 1990s, when he started working with steel and glass, materials he had dismissed before; similarly, his office began building more corporate environments: hotels, airports, company headquarters, in addition to the social housing projects he had become famous with. Our designers John McCusker and Vela Arbutina reflected this shift beautifully by incorporating high varnish gloss throughout the issue, but one only one of the pages of a spread, bringing together elegantly the wild diversity of the images while creating a clash between glossy and earthy, a suitable contrast of materials that is so significant to Bofill’s work. It makes for a striking effect that brings the entire issue together – and sometimes it is as simple as that.

MONDAY MUSIC: FINK

Autumn is in the air, and Fink will do just fine when the days shorten and the trees turn brown, with his latest album Hard Believer true to form, and not just one but two videos to support his new single Looking too Closely. Choose your own poison.

McSweeney’s first ever student short story contest!

If you are a fan of McSweeney’s like we are and if you ever wanted to publish a short story with them, now you can do it: IF you are a student (undergraduate or graduate) living in the US and have a story which doesn’t have more than 7,500 words…Submission ends on September 30, 2014.

The winner of the contest will receive $500 and their story will be published inMcSweeney’s 51, in August 2015. You can read more here.

HAPPY CREATIVE WRITING!

WHITE CUBES INHABITED

We’re suckers for exhibitions where the gallery space is in itself transformed, rather than just being decorated – and so must be Olafur Eliasson, who is, of course, a master of transforming space. His latest experiment is on view at the renowned Louisiana museum in Denmark, where he turned the central space into a natural landscape with a little river flowing through it.

Other transformation highlights come to mind: Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures Fig. 111 with its warped floors and ceilings, or Florian Slotawa’s grand Bonn Ordnen, where he moved the (functioning) offices of the Bonner Kunstverein into the exhibition space and showed his works in the deserted offices.

Above: Riverbed by Olafur Eliasson
Below: Powerless Structures Fig. 111 by Elmgreen & Dragset / Bonn Ordnen by Florian Slotawa

The Revolution will be colored


Lapham’s Quarterly shows the colorful side of revolutions.

BARRAGÁN

I’m so overly excited about Blonde Redhead’s forthcoming album Barragán. Their latest single The One I Love is just fantastic (so was the first track to be released No More Honey) and it takes me straight back to obsession of this fantastic band. The album was recorded with a lot of old analogue synthesizers and Kazu herself described it as ‘analogue heaven’. Barragán will be released September 2nd by Kobalt (not 4AD this time) and a tour throughout Europe and America will follow during fall and winter.

BERLIN ATONAL

Tonight opens the 2014 installment of Berlin Atonal – a legendary festival of 1980s West Berlin pioneering electronic music that went on hiatus after the fall of the wall, only to return again in 2013 in founder Dimitri Hegemann’s new space, the impressive former power plant Kraftwerk Berlin. Launching with Ensemble Modern interpreting Steven Reich, the 5-day-festival will host a range of diverse electronic and experimental artists, from Cabaret Voltaire to Biosphere, who will showcase along with others a new 4D sound system. Either way, the location is worth going on its own, and filled with music, it is simply magical.

BOFILLTOPIAS POSTSCRIPT

Maybe the most inadvertently accurate footnote on Ricardo Bofill’s architecture from the 1980s comes from Cyprien Gaillard, our interviewee of issue #24 who actually, at the time, introduced us to the work of Bofill. A mixture of fascination and skepticism exemplified beautifully in Gaillard’s short film The Lake Arches, shot, of course, at Les Arcades du Lac – see a few posts down.

Video: The Lake Arches by Cyprien Gaillard

BOERUM HOUSE & HOME

Boerum House & Home via Old Brand New.

QUIET COMING

“Wildcat is a state of mind; an experiment inspired by the composition and performance of jazz music.
The characters that populate this world are actual – cowboys; and envisioned – angels.
The town they all inhabit is real – Grayson, Oklahoma.”

2012 gave us “Until the Quiet Comes”, the pithy collaboration between filmmaker Kahlil Joseph and musician Flying Lotus. Its difficult to imagine how the two could follow up and overcome the emotional, sociocultural, and cinematic panorama realized in their singular first film. With 2013’s “Wildcat,” Joseph and FlyLo expand on the audiovisual lexicon they formulated and introduced in “Until…”

Again Joseph inscribes the life of all-black rodeo in Grayson, Oklahoma with his semiotically dense montages and dreamlike cinematic gestures, all too sensitive of the sublime. Pun aside, monochrome–sharply contrasting with its predecessor’s brocaded hues–highlights several undertones in “Wildcat”: nostalgia for American romanticism, a Malboro Man stoicism typically associated with the Midwest, and the irony inherent in the existence of a black rodeo. FlyLo’s score holds balance with all these. His track for an alternate American Midwest sounds delicately surreal, but no less majestic for it.