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    Michael Maltzan Installation "Dark Side of the Moon"

    By grid
    Oct 24, '07 6:38 PM EST

    Images from the Michael Maltzan gallery installation titled "Dark Side of the Moon."



    • i am sorry to say, but just looking from the beautiful pictures, it looks like a bad interpretation of dan flavin + james turell mixed with crude theatrics.
      let's leave this business to artists who spend lifetimes to develop their art. i think sci arc gallery is a bad influence in general. architecture as gallery installation art has huge conceptual problems to begin with. but hey, maybe it is the architect's hobby.
      in that case, it is pretty 101.
      it is a good thing to "turn to art to find a direction forward" but also good to know artists retain the original proofs.

      Oct 24, 07 11:19 pm

      Everyone has varying opinions about the gallery installations. Personally, I enjoy them. Some are definitely more successful than others and most are "pretty 101". They always contain an element of fun. This installation does a fantastic job warping and manipulating spatial perception - something an architect can do much better than an artist (which the 4th image shows best - it looks like multiple images put together, but is one unedited picture). I'd take a look at it in person if you're downtown soon Orhan. Thanks for the compliment on the photos.

      Oct 25, 07 12:23 am
      vado retro

      shine on you crazy orhan!

      Oct 25, 07 10:07 am
      John Clark

      Orhan, I'm interested in why architecture as installation art has conceptual problems which would deny its legitimacy in galleries? Maybe because to me the line between the two is not so finite.

      Oct 25, 07 2:42 pm

      I am not sure I could answer to that question in short terms without getting into detailed constructions, and that would take me some time to construct, naturally it is a lot of work.
      However I can give some guidelines and clues from my thinking that might open doors to some for further reading and research on this very subject.

      Foremost problem is brought to surface (no pun) is of 'vocabulary of art and architecture' and that in itself is a warehouse of a discussion.
      A lot of this was brought out in the 60's by artists like Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, Jo Baer, Dan Flavin and others and continues to be dealt and addressed by certain artists.
      The discussion is more on "the structure of information rather than the physicality of the object."
      We are talking about text in many cases. There are many artworks since the 60's that directly deal with some of the issues we might touch bases if we were to expand our argument here. I can quickly think of Dan Graham's work that contuniously deals with these questions and i would gladly include a link to an interview with the artist by Claude Gintzly in Art in America, May, 1994. I don't want to go any further and give this type of name association and criticality to the above referred architecture gallery installation which is mediocre at its best, never mind the perhaps innocent copycat-ism involved without any discrimination.

      Oct 25, 07 3:23 pm
      John Clark

      Thanks Orhan, I appreciate the article and any more that you have to throw out there.

      I'm just starting my own investigation of these ideas, god forbid they teach this in architecture school, so I can't yet expound fluently yet. But that's the beauty of being done with school and having free time.

      Oct 25, 07 4:30 pm

      wow, it took me a while to find this again, whew, glad i did because i really like this essay

      Oct 26, 07 1:58 pm

      good points and interesting articles. but what about vito acconci? he kind of throws that last article through a whole other loop, doesn't he? (not that i'm proposing an intellectual connection between vito acconci and michael maltzan...)

      I've noticed that when it comes to art about architecture and architecture as art, it is the artists who definitely aren’t spending a lot of energy claiming or defending that art can be architecture, while in contrast it is the architects who take such a position that have their work cut out in defending and promoting this idea to their audience, including themselves, pretty much endlessly. This endless defense and promotion can manifest in a variety of ways, such as exhibitions (sometimes even at a museum!), articles in scholarly journals , conferences (some where the philosopher doesn’t bother to show up but the architect does), etc. I think ultimately that the artist, by the terms of their craft or practice or whatever, has a discplinary leverage in such a situation and can be clever in exploiting this occurence of endless defense and seeing it clearly for what this 'extra' activity might mean. (see dan graham and his use of his architectural models as propaganda for getting more commissions to build more models)

      to me, the images of the maltzan installation brought to mind less of dan flavin or james turrell and more the set design for a hollywood blockbuster or music video. and isn't set design one of the career options for architecture school graduates? I wonder if the gallery were called " the sci arc architecture showcase" or "design showcase" if this posting would have elicited different discussion altogether.

      ok time for a beer.

      Oct 27, 07 12:58 am

      back in the mid '90s, the artist formerly known as micheal jackson,made the most expensive music video produced to date. i think Maltzan was listening to this song...
      Oct 28, 07 5:13 pm
      John Clark

      Aseid, here is another article that i enjoy more, though Sanford seems to revel in abstruseness. I think there are some poignant and relevant statements that he makes regarding the bleeding of architectural thought into other fields.


      I am interested in this idea of architects dabbling in other fields. It seems that most in the field have at least a passing interest in other artistic endeavors while others create a ritual out of reinforcing their architecture with painting (corbusier) or film or sculpture or installations. Will architects be always constrained by their "profession" or can they participate in the discussion about "the direction forward"?

      Nov 1, 07 11:52 am

      I tend to agree with Orhan about the 'architecture as gallery installation' thing, but for other reasons. It seems to me that many architectural education programs are pushing the 'installation' as the main focus of their programs instead of placing more of a focus on actual buildings.

      When you can remove reality from the equation (no need for water-proofing, codes, actual construction methods) any thing is possible. It is nice to be able to walk into a gallery and see someones 'idea' is another to walk into a building that isnt falling apart or leaking

      Nov 1, 07 1:48 pm

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