MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple, Canadian Chancery and Official Residence, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2002-2005, parti sketch
Andrew King + Angela Silver, romalux/tantramar, 2003-2004/2007, two digital video projections
Artists + Architects: Vito Acconci / BGHJ Architects / Ed Burtynsky /
Chris Down /Andrew King + Angela Silver / Thorsten Knaub / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple / Alison Norlen / PHB Group / Shim-Sutcliffe Architects
29 February to 30 March 2008
Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University
Sackville, New Brunswick
and individual experiences…mapped out by its inhabitants… This is the city
as we imagine it. ~ Jonathan Raban, Soft City
imagineacity…a scribbled etch-a-sketch glowing with stretches of flowing freeways and clusters of neon symbols, commercial strips threading dense patches of pastel suburbs with downtowns and worn footpaths carving vague contours of remnant spaces, highrise corridors of echoing engines and whispering trails of passing conversation that continually rewrite concrete ley-lines marked by long-standing monuments and fleeting memorials.
Every city is a “collage city,” the phrase used by Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter in setting out their theory of urban aesthetics in the August 1975 issue of Architectural Review. Envisioning the city as a constellation of discontinuous fragments and multiple levels of urban reality constructed from disparate architectural elements, artifacts, and allusions, the idea picked up on earlier conceptions of urban space as infused by memory, perception, and experience, bringing them into the repertoire of architectural aesthetics.
imagineacity offers an accumulating archive of urban “charts,” artistic explorations of space that have reconceived these intangible elements of urban space, reworking concepts such as Walter Benjamin’s itineraries and convolutes, Guy Debord’s theory of the dérive, and Michel de Certeau’s spatial stories, to reveal the ways the connections between people and place are fluid, continually made and re-made. Artwork is interwoven with material from architectural design process – sketches, drawings, blueprints – reinforcing the imaginative and speculative texture
of within even the most durable architectural surfaces and built realities, compositions that map ideas onto space to offer a sense of the city as open and always emergent.
In the “collage city” constructed here, all architectures are permeable, at once material, cultural, and metaphorical. Each element re-imagines the bigger project of the city, and the way architecture shapes and historicises social experience. Weaving spectres of the built environment that emerge through the intersection of architecture and imagination, imagineacity draws attention beyond formal spaces to suggest the consistency of the city as at once real and intangible, material and fantastic, concrete and paper, planned and poetic.
Public reception & projection of student architecture proposals @ 7:30 pm, Friday March 28th, 2008
Curated by Shauna McCabe and presented by the Owens Art Gallery in conjunction with the Centre for Humanities and Arts Research in Transdisciplinary Space (CHARTS), Mount Allison University, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Marjorie Young Bell Endowment Fund.