Exhibition A Little Piece of Bauhaus

INsite - Farnworth House Luftwerk

Mon, 05/02/2016 -
Fri, 07/29/2016

Goethe-Institut Chicago

150 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 200
Chicago, lL 60601

INsite Revisited

Starting on May 2, 2016, the Goethe-Institut Chicago, in anticipation of the 80th anniversary of Bauhaus in Chicago will present micro exhibitions, Little Pieces of Bauhaus. These exhibitions will show works that reference the Bauhaus by a variety of artists, local, national and international. We will present a collection of diverse media, each exhibition lasting approximately three months. We hope you will enjoy them all.
What do you do with a revered masterwork of the 20th century? Luftwerk casts INsite, as “an exploration of the philosophy of Mies through light.” The results are revelatory, reanimating our understanding and appreciation of this iconic structure.
INsite is a looping composition divided into three sections roughly corresponding to the structure of the house, the fluidity of its transparent glass walls, and the organic, where nature meets geometry. Luftwerk uses projection mapping, especially in the first movement, to highlight the horizontal structural steel beams that enable the glass walls to enclose the volume of the space with such an ethereal mass. Subsequent projections of abstracted patterns are like an artist’s MRI of the interior volume of Farnsworth, flooding it with images of fluidity created in their studio in a playful but systematic topographic investigation. In the last movement, color enters in and nature is projected within the volume of the house. Dappled sense memories from the daytime meld with the structural outline of the house, transforming it.
In a sense there are two Farnsworth Houses. There is the one that most people get to experience during the day, and there is Farnsworth at night. During the day, Farnsworth hovers above the grassy landscape and the glass walls provide a transparent view that is also subtly hermetic. Even though there is no visual barrier, interior and exterior are sealed off from one another. You are in nature but not necessarily “amongst” it.
At night, Luftwerk’s projections literalize the hover quality of the structure, highlighting the horizontal steel beams supporting the house but virtually eliminating through absence of illumination any connection to the ground. The house becomes unmoored. From the inside there is an epidermal transformation. The glass skin becomes reflective and the space expands fractally toward the indefinite. But beyond the glow of refracted light there is no landscape, no nature, only a primeval dark.
There is a story here, and it is one that Luftwerk wants you to experience not be told. If you could bottle the daytime Farnsworth, the magical feeling we all have as we walk around it, viewing from different angles, inside and out, and project it back on itself at night, without the “distraction” of the landscaping or the furniture – or the history – what would the house look like? How would it feel? The dots and squares and pixels are abstracted patterns of sunlight through the leaves of the overhanging trees and sunlight on water, referencing the nearby Fox River, the viscosity of glass, and the flow of time. What is Farnsworth now?
What do you do with a revered 20th century masterpiece? You learn it. You map it. You illuminate it. You reflect it. You project onto it and into it. You play it. That’s INsite.
(From the curatorial Statement by Steve Dietz, President and Artistic Director, Northern Lights)
Petra Bachmaier, originally from Munich, holds an MA from the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany. She also holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and spent an academic semester at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.
Sean Gallero, originally from the Bronx, NYC, studied art and humanities at Lehman College, with a focus on applied arts and continued studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bachmaier and Gallero met during Performance Art studies at SAIC (1999) and have collaborated since 2000.
The artist duo formed Luftwerk in 2007. Luftwerk studio is based in Chicago, IL, USA.
Kate Joyce
Kate Joyce
Kate Joyce is a visual artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joyce studied photojournalism and sociology at San Francisco State University and documentary photography at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Beginning in 2011 continuing to the present, Joyce has worked on long-term art documentary projects with writer Sam Stephenson. Joyce has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her work appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, Harper’s Magazine, Architect Magazine, and The New York Times.