Hernan Diaz Alonso, Sur (Preparatory Illustration), 2005, PS1 MOMA pavilion in New York.

Xefirotarch, the Architecture of the Constantly Morphing

Pitch Black solo show at the MAK Museum, Vienna, 2007.

Pitch Black solo show at the MAK Museum, Vienna, 2007.

Hernan Diaz Alonso, Sur (Preparatory Illustration), 2005, PS1 MOMA pavilion in New York.

 

Art Institute of Chicago
111 SouthMichigan Avenue
312-443-3600
Chicago
Xefirotarch
July 12-October 28, 2007

Hernán Díaz Alonso's baroque designs — resembling animal forms, plant structures, or fungal growths — blur the visual and spatial boundaries between surface, decoration, and structure to create an original and distinctly figurative architectural approach. Díaz Alonso is greatly influenced by much of a broad range of visual practices, including the art of Francis Bacon and Matthew Barney, science fiction films, and digital practices in design, architecture, and art. His aesthetic, always sensual but often grotesque, evolves through a series of conceptually linked projects and experiments, with the ultimate goal of offering not only a spatial experience, as one would expect from architecture, but a temporal experience as well. Thus the resulting work occupies an as-yet undefined domain that lies between the formal demands of architecture and the narrative possibilities of different uses of space.

The Art Institute of Chicago presents an exhibition of the projects by Xefirotarch, a Los Angeles-based design firm on the cutting edge of digital practice. Organized by Art Institute curator Joseph Rosa — the John H. Bryan Chair of Architecture and Design, and former Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-the exhibition features selected key projects by Xefirotarch, founded in 2001 by Argentine Díaz Alonso.

Rosa notes, "Xefirotarch's refined investigations of form are an example of how digital architecture has matured since the mid-1990s. No longer fascinated by merely producing blob-based structures, Díaz Alonso has expanded the theory and practice of this new architectural approach. His vision, based on constantly morphing geometry, represents flexible arrangement in architectural form rather than stasis. Gathered here, the studio's most important designs over the last five years suggest organic complexity as a way of redefining concepts of beauty and the grotesque in architecture, offering almost a natural history of this evolving aesthetic."

The exhibition's centerpiece, titled Sangre (Spanish for "blood"), is a sculptural installation created specifically for this presentation. Finished with patented factory-issue Ferrari Red paint, the dramatic undulating fiberglass construction Sangre suggests both the sleekness of a manufactured object and the biomorphic oddity of an alien creature. Other designs on display include the monumental, animal-like form Arach (a proposed mixed-use complex in Dublin) and the submitted plan for the Busan Master Plan and Concert Hall in South Korea, a group of linked "islands" of activity inspired by its own beach environment. The exhibition also will feature six monitors playing DVD animations of the studio's projects, as well as a number of small-scale models displayed in vitrines.

Xefirotarch is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and guest curated by Joseph Rosa. It is generously supported by Christine and Michael Murray, Nancy and Steven H. Oliver, the LEF Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Animations by Xefirotarch in collaboration with Imaginary Forces.

 

 

Xefirotarch (Hernán Díaz Alonso. EE.UU.) Busan Multipurpose Concert Hall