Starting From... Travel

Exhibition, Hall cases, 3 December 2008 to 1 May 2009

Interpreting the subject of travel to distant places, the exhibition charts an expanded notion of travel that spans imaginary journeys, strange sites, vanishing points, floating and portable houses, endless caves, swirling diamond domes, tombs, crypts and catacombs, tunnel adventures, formal studies, technical innovation, cultural imagination, and experimental architecture.

The point of departure for Travel is three books that deal with architecture from extreme perspectives: the aerial view, underground, and the siteless middle ground. Charting the extensive aerial photography of pilot Roger Henrard in Above Paris, Jean-Louis Cohen elaborates on the advent of the aerial pedestrian and the impact of aerial views on the landscape of urban scale. In Notes on the Underground, Rosalind Williams draws from source texts such as Lewis Mumford’s Technics and Civilization (1934) and Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) to show how fictional underground worlds have provided a prophetic view into our environmental future. François Blanciak’s Siteless is a personal and imaginative lexicon of building types inspired by the “serial, charted” nature of work by Iakov Chernikhov, John Hejduk, and Hermann Finsterlin (under the pseudonym Prometh).

The display contains drawings, sketches, photographs, models, and includes an aerial photograph of Stonehenge by Marilyn Bridges, L. Petitot’s underground view of the tracks of the Métro in Paris, models of Peter Eisenman’s Max Reinhardt Haus and a pre-fabricated Motohome by Robert McLaughlin, Arata Isozaki’s Sketches for the Clusters in the Air Project, and a German-fabricated toy Zeta.

Starting From… is an exhibition series that highlights materials in the CCA Collection in relation to current publications on architecture.

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