Opened on June 13th in conjunction with Art Basel 2017, “Resistance” features experimental stone sculptures that explore new potential uses for Portuguese stone, an abundant and invaluable material.
Curated by Portuguese ADORNO curator Guta Moura Guedes — the mastermind behind Destination Lisbon & Destination Porto — “Resistance” debuted on Tuesday, June 13th in the VitraHaus Garden in Weil am Rein, Germany. Presenting the work of ten international architects and designers including Álvaro Siza, Amanda Levete, Bijoy Jain, Souto de Moura, ELEMENTAL, Carrilho da Graça, Mia Hägg, Paulo David, Studio MK27 and Vladimir Djurovic, the show is part of an experimental international research program titled “First Stone,” which invites creators to explore new ways to utilize stone — in this case, Portuguese stone. ADORNO attended the exhibition opening and the panel discussion, which featured participating artists: Mia Hägg, Vladimir Djurovic and Amanda Levete in conversation with Vitra Design Museum director Mateo Kries. In their conversation, the panelists presented two approaches to using stone: one rooted in an emphasis on sustainable consumption and the other prioritizing new techniques.
Djurovic’s stone sculptures were created almost without any processing at all, featuring stones in their rawest and most organic state — offering an example of how we can make use of stone waste that is often thrown away. Levete and Hägg’s sculptures, on the other hand, resulted from the meticulous use of a technique called “water cutting,” which produced new qualities, textures, and forms that are unusual for stone — including soft arcs and waves.
From left: Amanda Levete, Guta Moura Guedes, Mateo Kries. Sculpture: Metamorphica by Amanda Levete
Amanda Levete’s series of sculptural objects were formed by deconstructing a large block of marble into a complex set of smaller pieces. The shape as a whole was inspired by the calcite crystal structures that compose the rock, and ultimately give it its resistance. The result is a sequence of pieces featuring different shapes and dimensions — but that which when brought together, unite into one complete original form. When used individually, these pieces can serve as seats, small tables or decorative elements.
Mia Hägg’s bicycle rack was conceived as a series of X-shaped pieces designed to be disseminated into public spaces. “X” presents itself as a resistant project through its shape, but also through its underlying message, which is political at its heart: we should all bike more and drive less, since this sustainable form of transportation comprises a more ecological and conscious lifestyle.
Curator Guta Moura Guedes. Sculpture: Mult by Paulo David
Guta Moura Guedes is co-founder of the cultural non-profit association “Experimenta”, created in Lisbon in 1998. Since 1999 she dedicates herself to directing and programming the Biennale ExperimentaDesign being co-author and Director. She is also curatorially responsible for each project the association promotes since its creation, as well as for the management of the association’s institutional and international relations, for its communication and strategic development. She is Chair of ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam Foundation, created in Amsterdam in January 2008 to develop the Dutch edition of the Biennale ExperimentaDesign. She is also currently in charge of co-curating a cultural programme for La Gaité Lyrique, a new cultural venue in Paris opened last March and is a communication consultant for the Music Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and she is currently hosting a tv talk show entitled “ Cidades Visíveis (Visible Cities), focusing on culture and creative practices in contemporary urban contexts. In 2009, she was in charge of the coordination and strategic design of Algarve Contemporary Art programme. This fall she will launch her collection of defining designers from Lisbon and Porto on the Adorno platform.
Panelists from left: Vladimir Djurovic, Mia Hägg, Mateo Kries, Amanda Levete.
From left: Antonio Mexia, Guta Moura Guedes & Kristian Snorre Andersen
Water gargoyles by Bijoy Jain / Studio Mumbai
Stone meant to divide with light and mass. Márcio Kogan / StudioK7
Deconstructing Cube by Amanda Levete
“Gather” by Vladimir Djurovic
“Gather” wall by Vladimir Djurovic
“Gather” block by Vladimir Djurovic
Banco de Jardim by Álvaro Siza
For Álvaro Siza’s “Banco de Jardin,” a chaise-longue composed of two contiguous pieces with purified forms reflected the clarity of the stone selected – the whitest marble in Portugal. This chair is ideal for use in public spaces, as its mechanical resistance enables an optimal response to intensive use. It also stresses the importance of architecture as a stimulus for enjoying exterior spaces, both urban and rural.
The Norwegian collection, “Inside Looking Out”, presented in Kiyoshi Yamamoto’s studio, takes a closer look at artistic practices in relation to restrictions, isolation, and solitude – which have afforded some unexpected opportunities.
To explore the world of 3D rendering and its uses in the collectible design industry, Adorno has teamed up with a diverse group of 3D artists to interpret a range of pieces in their imaginative environments.
Studio Lél, an artistic collective based in Peshawar, Pakistan, focuses on the art of pietra dura, a technique of inlaid stonework dating back to Ancient Roman times. In collaboration with local craftsmen and refugee artisans, Lél works to preserve this tradition, translating it for contemporary audiences.