September 5 – October 22, 2008
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:30-7:00 pm
The exhibition The Architecture of Desire takes Colorado College’s new Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center as its inspiration as well as its site. Created as a teaching and performance space for the arts, the Cornerstone building was designed by architect Antoine Predock with a very specific purpose: to inspire and facilitate collaborative creative activities. Using Cornerstone’s unique architecture as a springboard, The Architecture of Desire explores the idea that every building has a philosophy, a set of guiding principles that define its purpose and therefore its structure, by allowing or prohibiting certain movements or actions, a building’s structure in turn influences our beliefs and behaviors. Featuring site-specific installations by internationally renowned contemporary artists Cristina Iglesias, Runa Islam, and Lida Abdul, this two-part exhibition uncovers the ways in which architecture reflects our worldviews, shapes our actions, and constructs our desires.
Drawing from a variety of inspirations and materials, Spanish sculptor Cristina Iglesias creates architectonic spaces that mediate between industrial and organic environments. Structural influences include the perforated intaglio walls of a Moorish building, the camouflage proscenium of a surveillance hut, the enveloping canopy of a dense forest, or the contemplative protection of a medieval cloister. Created from natural materials such as twigs, sticks, and leaves that have been cast in a mixture of resin and bronze powder, Iglesias’ installation for The Architecture of Desire, Vegetation Room VI, tests the boundaries between industrial culture, the human body, and the natural world. Born in Spain in 1956, Iglesias was one of the youngest artists ever to receive a major exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 1997. She exhibits throughout Europe, Canada, and the USA, and recently won the international competition to create new bronze doors for the extension to the Prado Museum in Madrid, which opened in 2007. Other major public commissions by the artist can be found in Minneapolis, Antwerp, and Barcelona.
Runa Islam creates film installations that simultaneously employ and deconstruct the languages and techniques of narrative filmmaking. Islam often uses architectural structure to reframe physical and narrative space; the length of a shot corresponds to the depth of a room or the height of a wall or constructed spaces may reflect the psychological spaces between characters. Described as a “reverie” of an abandoned building, the installation Scale (1/16 Inch = 1 foot) features a derelict building as a setting and main protagonist for a subtle, psychological drama. Islam was born in 1970 in Dhaka, Bangladesh and currently lives and works in London. A rising contemporary art star, Islam has been featured in the 2005 Venice Biennale (2005) and the 2003 Istanbul Biennial and recently had a large solo exhibition at the UCLA Hammer Museum.