17 Volcanoes: Works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Armin Linke, Bas Princen, U5 and Wermke/Leinkauf
17 Volcanoes: Works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Armin Linke, Bas Princen, U5 and Wermke/Leinkauf opens at the Princeton School of Architecture. It is curated by Alexander Lehnerer, Assistant Professor, ETH Zurich, and Philip Ursprung, Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, ETH Zurich, and curated for the Princeton School of Architecture by Tina di Carlo. The exhibition will be formally opened with a talk from Philip Ursprung on February 17th at noon, followed by an opening reception at 5 pm.
The exhibition celebrates volcanoes as figures in the landscape of Java, as politically, economically and culturally-charged objects whose ambiguous existence makes them particularly interesting for architectural scrutiny. Volcanoes act and behave in periodic cycles, they are neither urban nor rural, neither alive nor dead, neither past nor present, neither good nor bad. As giant figures in the landscape, they create the land and continuously transform it. Despite their overwhelming potential for destructiveness, they produce fertile grounds to feed one of the world’s most densely populated islands.
Between 1836 and 1848, the German-Dutch explorer Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn made several expeditions to Java — the geographic, historic, cultural, political and economic center of Indonesia — in the service of the Dutch colonial authorities. He was among the first to climb the island’s many volcanoes, and his books, maps, and lithographs made him the “Humboldt of Java.” Linke and Princen follow in Junghuhn’s footsteps, visiting his favorite volcanoes to produce new bodies of work in which the volcanoes form territorial markers, allowing them to interweave historical and contemporary narratives of Indonesia.
17 Volcanoes presents a collection of Junghuhn’s scientific and artistic works in conjunction with photographic and video works by Linke, photographs by Princen, and artworks by U5 and Wermke/Leinkauf. Among them is Princen’s c-print of Gunung Merapi, now considered Java’s most dangerous volcano. The exhibition also includes two large sculptures produced by Zenvin Artstone in Magelang as large souvenirs.
17 Volcanoes is part of a multi-year research project at the Future Cities Laboratory at Singapore ETH Centre. It is funded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore and ETH Zurich.
Alex Lehnerer, an architect and urban designer, currently holds a position as assistant professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Prior to that he was based in Chicago, where he was a professor at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. He received his PhD from ETH Zurich and his M.Arch from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Together with his partner Savvas Ciriacidis he is leading the Zurich-based architecture practice CIRIACIDISLEHNERER. Among their projects is the commission for the German pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2014.
As a photographer and filmmaker, Armin Linke combines a range of contemporary image-processing technologies in order to blur the borders between fiction and reality. His artistic practice is concerned with different possibilities of dealing with photographic archives and their respective manifestations, as well as with the interrelations and transformative powers between urban, architectural, or spatial functions and the human being’s interacting with these environments. Through work with his own archive, as well as with other historical archives, Linke challenges the conventions of photographic practice, whereby the questions of how photography is installed and displayed become increasingly important. When the artist takes over the role of an exhibition maker in a collective approach, together with artists, designers, architects, historians, and curators, narratives are procured on the level of multiple discourses.
He was Research Affiliate at MIT Visual Arts Program Cambridge, guest professor at the IUAV Arts and Design University in Venice, and professor for photography at the University for Arts and Design Karlsruhe (HfG).
Bas Princen is an artist and photographer living and working in Rotterdam and recently in Zurich. He was educated as an industrial designer at the Design Academy Eindhoven and later studied architecture at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Since then, through the use of photography, his work focuses on urban landscape in transformation, researching the various forms, outcomes and imaginaries of changing urban space. Recent exhibitions include: Constructing Worlds in the Barbican Art Gallery, London 2014; Room of Peace in the Arsenale exhibition Monditalia, at the 14th Venice Biennale; Reservoir, deSingel Antwerp 2011; Five Cities, Depo, Istanbul 2010; Refuge, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, 2010; Invisible frontier, AUT, Innsbruck 2008; Nature as Artifice, Kroller Muller Museum, Otterloo and Aperture Foundation, New York 2009; Spectacular City, Nai, Rotterdam, 2006; The Venice Biennale of Architecture 2004 2006, 2010 and 2012. In May 2004, he published his first book Artificial Arcadia with 010 Publishers; further monographs include Rotterdam with Witte de With Publishers 2007; Galleria Naturale for Linea di Confine, Rubierra 2008, Five Cities Portfolio with SUN Publishers 2009 and Reservoir with Hatje Cantz 2011, and The Construction of an Image 2016 with Bedford Press. In 2004 he won the Charlotte Kohler Prize for promising young artists and architects in the Netherlands and at the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture he was awarded the silver lion for his collaborative work with Office Kersten Geers David van Severen.
Philip Ursprung is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at ETH Zurich. He earned his PhD in Art History at Freie Universität Berlin after studying in Geneva, Vienna, and Berlin, and taught at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin (today University of the Arts Berlin), the GSAPP of Columbia University, the Barcelona Institute of Architecture and the University of Zürich. He is Principal Investigator of the research project “Tourism and Urbanization” at Future Cities Laboratory of Singapore ETH Centre, Singapore. He is editor of Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History (CCA Montreal and Baden: Lars Müller, 2002) and Caruso St John: Almost Everything (Barcelona: Poligrafa, 2009). His most recent books are Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson, and the Limits to Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), Brexas y conexiones (Barcelona: Puente Editores, 2016) and Der Wert der Oberfläche (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2017).
The U5 is a four-member artist collective founded in Zurich in 2007 that combines photography, painting, sculpture, live performance, video, and projections.
Berlin-based artist duo Wermke/Leinkauf works on actions, performances, and installations dealing with the hidden possibilities of a city. Using artistic strategies, they create temporary irritations that allow new perspectives on everyday situations. They explore the boundaries of the public sphere to question common standards and constraints. They “open” the city by using not only their bodies but the material and the tools of urban spaces. Their works often relate to the Genius Loci and the history of a space.
Curatorial Assistants — Princeton University