Exhibition OASIS opened in Estonian Museum of Architecture in Tallinn brings together different projects of designers/artists/architects who created contemporary micro-climates for survival in a hostile environment.
The project curated by Irma Arribas and Erich Weiss presents nine case-studies of environments and situations that can be understood as ‘landscapes of care’. Their authors invented and created specific tools and infrastructures, that are an answer to a specific surrounding context. They all investigate and research how we – humans and non-humans – interact and respond when confronted with conditions testing our limits.
An example of a HUMAN OASIS is the SOLO HOUSE residency constructed by Belgian architects Office KGDVS. Their villa is a kind of anthropocentric glass bubble, where the occupants live retired and avoiding any interaction with the surrounding nature and outdoor landscape.
The dreamlike Prada Marfa Shop of Elmgreen & Dragset is like a fata morgana image along a desert highway. Non-functional and inaccessible it is a CONSUMER OASIS. An ironical monument, a symbol of our contemporary society, celebrating the power and attraction of marketing strategies and social media. The Spanish artist Irma Cohen takes the conceptual sculpture ‘Blue Sail’ of Hans Haacke, that analyses our relation with natural elements and the environment as starting point. A piece that has been transformed by the Danish collective Superflex in a “Supercopy” criticizing our relation with fake versions of luxury productions. She takes the piece one step beyond, converting the ‘sail’ in a flag made of a security blanket, symbolizing the faith of immigrants arriving in a REFUGEE OASIS. Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia invites us to search for his PRIVATE OASIS. It is a small ’Social Pool’ hidden in the Californian desert. Discovering it is the artist’s invitation to make the visitor mediate about certain social values and our own place in society.
The Estonian game designers ZA/UM offer their users the chance to escape into a VIRTUAL OASIS. Participating in their game Disco Elysium enables the audience to change their identities and travel into another space-time dimension as a complementary world existing next to our everyday reality.
The ’Shybot’ experiment is Norma Jeane’s way of presenting us a POLITICAL OASIS. Identifying ourselves with the robot he created, we can imagine what it would be like to live retired in the desert, avoiding any human contact, being free and not having to obey any politically decided law.
Santiago Borja is a Mexican artist who produces the provocative juxtaposition of a primitive refuge constructed by aboriginal Indians next to the emblematic ‘machine for living’ that is Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. This dialogue creates a CULTURAL OASIS and invites us to compare two different concepts and philosophies of life and living.
Andrea Zittel created with her AZ project in the Joshua Tree desert a laboratory that is a SOCIAL OASIS. The site is a place for experimentation where people are invited to analyze the rules and codes that govern our present society and where alternative solutions are tested.
The exhibition does not pretend to give an answer or to sell a big theory about a possible ‘oasis’ prototype but invite people to participate in this modest interactive adventure. It is an invitation for an exploration trip to discover and discuss questions related with the theme. It hopes to give the visitor food for thought, hoping it may be the inspiration for some new kind of innovative and creative oasis model for the immediate future.
Curated by Irma Arribas, Barcelona based architect and visual artist and Erich Weiss, freelance video artist and curator from Belgium.
More images HERE.
Exhibiton is opened until January 9, 2022
Estonian Museum of Architecture
Ahtri 2, Tallinn
For more info see www.arhitektuurimuuseum.ee/eng