Chicago Biennial '17
UrbanLab presented the Re-Encampment project in the second Chicago Biennial curated by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee. The project investigates a seminal project from the ‘70s to find new possibilities for today.
In the photo-collage “Fundamental Acts, Life” from Superstudio’s Supersurface – The Encampment project of 1971, mountains frame a grid to produce a valley-scaled ‘interior’ room. Our “Re-Encampment” in the Chicago Biennial in the Room of Plinths re-interprets and re-examines the meaning underlying this canonical image. We deploy Superstudio’s technique of extension and multiplication – of grids across the landscape – to create “a space infinitely reflected.” Our project is a series of small cubic spaces made of mirrors like Superstudio’s model for Emilio Ambasz’s MoMA show “The New Domestic Landscape” in 1972. Looking into and through these cubes, one sees spaces infinitely reflected. For Superstudio, these types of spaces symbolize benign environments: looking up one sees sky, looking down one sees a continuous gridded infrastructure. Emerging from the infrastructure plane, one sees a series of life-supporting atmospheres like air, heat, and water. This endless environment is divested of all but a few essential elements in order to re-examine, as Superstudio did, what is the essence of architecture and the environment.
Photos by Michelle Litvin