BILBAO, Spain – The Guggenheim Museum in northern Spain on Tuesday previewed an exhibition that celebrates architecture and its effect on art taking the emblematic building that houses the show as inspiration.
“Architecture Effects,” curated by Guggenheim Bilbao’s Manuel Cirauqui and Guggenheim New York’s Troy Conrad, explores how buildings affect art and society using as a starting point the “Bilbao effect,” a term used to explain the way the launch and creation of American architect Frank Gehry’s building propelled the local economy and reinvigorated the Basque city.
Cirauqui told EFE that in his view the revitalization of Bilbao’s economy after the museum was built “reactivated a certain magic or power within architecture which resulted in a domino effect of consequences.”
The exhibition is in three parts and spaces: Airlock, Garden and Bubble.
The first space, Airlock, focuses on Guggenheim Bilbao and its year of construction, 1997, with what organizers call a “time camera” that takes the viewer on a journey of the key social, scientific and technological events that marked the year, including the day Google registered its domain name, “Dolly” the sheep that became the first cloned living being, and chess great Gary Kasparov’s defeat to a computer.
From the 1997 time-capsule punters venture into the Garden space where 10 well known contemporary artists and architects showcase their work.
Among the pieces is New York architecture firm MOS (Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample) “A tent without a signal,” a primitive structure made out of a metal fabric that blocks mobile phones from connecting to networks in a gentle nudge to get the punter to switch off and simply be.
The contemplative theme continues with a piece by New York-based architecture firm Leong Leong “Float tank 01,” a sound-proof iron capsule that fits one person and isolates the viewer, again, in a bid to reach a meditative state.
The physical exhibition finishes virtually with Bubble, a free application that visitors can download onto their phones in order to access further information and material about the exhibition and the featured artworks.