Building Desires at Cornerstone Arts Center this Fall

Jessica Hunter-Larsen, I.D.E.A. Curator
Jessica Hunter-Larsen, I.D.E.A. Curator

This fall has proven to be an exhilarating time for the InterDisciplinary Arts program at Colorado College.  While the program began in 2006, the gala celebration of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center – home to the I.D.E.A. Space – in October has invigorated the program. I am continually energized by the wide variety creative activities that take place in the building and feel especially privileged to be a part of it.

The first interdisciplinary exhibition project to take place in our new home, The Architecture of Desire (September 5 – December 12, 2008) is inspired by the unique architecture of the new Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center. The various components of the project, which includes a two-part gallery exhibition, performances by Project Bandaloop, and a public sculpture by Patrick Dougherty, invite us to examine the multifaceted relationship between architecture and society.

  • Can a building inspire and facilitate collaborative creative activities, as the Cornerstone building proposes to do? Project Bandaloop’s electrifying aerial dance performances on the exterior and in the interior of the building provided one answer to that challenge, setting the stage for future creative responses to the building.
  • What can be learned from architecture’s failures? Runa Islam’s haunting video installation Scale 1/16” = 1’ featured in The Architecture of Desire Part I, (September 5 – October 22, 2008) invited the viewer to participate in the “reverie” of a building that was abandoned upon its completion. Stripped of its utility, the building has blossomed only within fictional contexts.
  • How does a building reflect a society’s relationship with nature? Does it dominate or complement the landscape? Patrick Dougherty’s stickworks sculptures in front of Armstrong Hall allude to the natural world and man-made structures in equal measure: they are cocoons for gargantuan insects, mysterious animal lairs, or whimsical “follies” built for a giant’s garden.
  • What does the absence of architecture signify? Afghani artist Lida Abdul’s performance-based videos featured in The Architecture of Desire Part II (November 4 – December 12, 2008) explore the interaction between individuals and ruined buildings. Hauntingly beautiful, the videos invite us to contemplate our identity, when all our civic and domestic structures have crumbled?

I invite everyone in our community to attend The Architecture of Desire Part II and the associated activities, tour Colorado College’s dynamic new building, and reflect on the role architecture plays in nurturing and sustaining a culture.

Warm regards,

Jessica Hunter Larsen, Curator