“Soiled S” is a record of the airborne pollution deposited on the iconic concrete paneled façade of Storefront for Art and Architecture. The dust has settled in a peculiar pattern: one can make out the ghosted image of an “S,” which once graced the façade, but has now been removed. The piece is backlit in a thin wall mounted light box. The glow reveals an uncanny beauty in the patterns of pollution.
This work is in dialogue with Jorge's “Ethics of Dust” installations (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLkTAJIqzTs), and part of a larger investigation of pollution as an emblematic, if paradoxical, modern architectural material (http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/GREY_a_00039). Pollution is undoubtedly a destructive material, which aggressively erodes buildings. But, precisely for that reason, it has also spurred the production of many of the architectural materials we consider modern, from terracotta to self-cleaning glass. Although we seldom chose to acknowledge it, pollution is an essential element of any façade—Storefront included.
Born in Madrid, Jorge Otero-Pailos is a New York-based architect, artist and theorist specialized in experimental forms of preservation. He is tenured Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture. He is the Founder and Editor of the journal Future Anterior. His artworks have been exhibited in international shows such as the Venice Art Biennale, and are in the collections of major museums and foundations. His works and writings have been published in international publications such as Art in America, Artform, Architectural Record, Volume and others. His work rethinks preservation as a powerful countercultural practice that creates alternative futures for our world heritage.
The summer benefit architecture drawing auction includes work newly commissioned by Storefront for Art & Architecture for the Aesthetic/Anasthetic exhibition on display until July 28, 2012. Each drawing depicts the Storefront Gallery space at 97 Kenmare, from the perspectives of a diverse group of emerging and established architects worldwide. The drawings reveal a different aspect of the space and are representative of the generative properties of the architect's drawing. All proceeds will support Storefront's exhibitions and programs.
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