On Mock-ups, Home Videos and Housekeeping: a video exhibition in three parts
Tuesday March 25, 2008 – Saturday May 3, 2008
A Group Exhibition
1. Mock-Ups in Close-Up
March 25 2008 – April 5 2008
Architectural Models in Cinema 1927 – 2007
A video project by Gabu Heindl and Drehli Robnik, 2008 (105′, running on loop)
2. Come to Israel: It’s hot and wet and we have the Humus
April 8 2008 – April 19 2008
Role Playing in Military Practices, Sexual Practices and Videotaping
Video works by Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir and Yossi Atia & Itamar Rose
Curated by Joshua Simon
3. Koolhaas Houselife
April 22 2008 – May 3 2008
Stories from the daily life of Guadalupe Acedo, caretaker and housekeeper of the
House in Bordeaux designed by Rem Koolhaas
A film by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine (70′, running on loop)
Mock-Ups in Close-Up (Gabu Heindl and Drehli Robnik, 2008) is a comprehensive overview of one of the least-explored territories in the relationship between architecture and cinema. 80 different clips, all including architectural models, are collated to become, in themselves, an 80-minute movie that includes sequences from films produced between 1927 and 2007.
Although it contains some obvious classics, such as Housing Problems , King Vidor´s The Fountainhead  and Peter Greenaway´s Belly of an Architect , this compilation does not primarily deal with “films about architecture”. Rather, it offers a section through an all-inclusive film history which, in the project’s re-writing, appears to be obsessed with showing models in a variety of contexts: be it on the fringes or in the center of a scene, models pop up in love stories, thrillers, psychological dramas, comedies or sci-fi.
The films compiled include arthouse and blockbuster fare, “auteur cinema” as well as contributions to film franchises such as the Dr. Mabuse, James Bond, Dirty Harry, Death Wish, Indiana Jones, Robocop, Austin Powers and X-Men cycles.
The list of filmmakers who could not resist to either pan over or to focus on architectural models includes Fritz Lang, King Vidor, Sergio Leone, Alain Resnais, Sam Fuller, Arthur Penn, Robert Aldrich, Michelangelo Antonioni, Francis Ford Coppola, Don Siegel, Stanley Kubrick, Margarethe von Trotta, Robert Zemeckis, Penny Marshall, Peter Greenaway, Oliver Stone, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, Ben Stiller, the Farrelly Brothers, and Wes Anderson.
March 28, 6.30pm: Author’s presentation followed by open discussion with Beatriz Colomina. Their talk will raise some key questions on film history, archiving, “photogénie” and specific typologies of architectural models and the roles they play in movies from an architect or urbanist´s point of view.
Come to Israel: It’s hot and wet and we have the Humus Shopping malls and checkpoints, outings and family bbq’s, war zones and entertainment are all part of Israeli filmmakers Itamar Rose & Yossi Atia satire set in Israel’s heartland. Juxtaposed with this series is Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir’s acclaimed video trilogy of bar-hopping, S&M quickies and prostitution, a steamy first-person investigation into the sexual practices of Tel Aviv’s
nightlife that often uncovers complex military reminiscences.
Atia & Rose’s satirical shorts, as they call them, have been attracting attention in their hometown of Tel Aviv, mostly by word of mouth, since 2005. Their movies, which feature them in a variety of fictional characters interviewing Israelis they meet or approach on the street, the mall or the park, squarely take on the highly controversial issue of Israeli society’s relationship with race, gender and sexuality. In one of their videos, dressed in traditional Arabic gowns, Atia & Rose approach picnicking families at a national park on Independence Day and ask them to stand with them for a moment of silence in memory of the Arab villages which used to be where the park is now, before their residents were uprooted in 1967.
In their video trilogy Beyond Guilt (2004-2006), the female duo Sela & Amir investigates pick-up bars, internet dating sites and call girl services in Israel, revealing the deep effects of the army experience on the most intimate practices of young Israelis. As they actively participate and try to seduce young men in restrooms of pick-up joints, schedule anonymous sessions with S&M partners and pay a prostitute to film them with her in a
hotel room, the two upset the balances of power between photographer and photographed; male and female; multiple and singular; object and subject.
Sela’s video Nothing Happened (2007) is a touching depiction of what is portrayed as an unexceptional night in Tel Aviv: casual kissing, intimacy and socialization with prostitutes. The resulting picture reveals the impact of the communications media, the emergence of behavioral stereotypes in front of the camera and the craving for exposure and publicity reminiscent of reality TV. More than anything else, however, it reveals the effects of occupation, terror and militarism as factors delineating the Israeli identity, even in the most private of moments.
The videos shown in the exhibition reveal a blurring of borders. Sexual and political-military identities seem to intermingle to an extent in which distinction is no longer possible. In both Sela & Amir’s and Atia & Rose’s videos uniform, costumes and role-playing are the props in a play that is a clear evocation of reality. The extreme gestures these artists employ in their films allow them to create, with the spontaneous consent of their subjects,
an incisive snapshot of the intimate and all-embracing relationship between Israelis and the state of Israel.
Thursday April 10, 6pm: presentation of the filmic work of Ari Libsker. Libsker, who is showing his documentary film Stalags – Holocaust and pornography in Israel at the Film Forum (opening April 9), will be speaking at Storefront for Art and Architecture about his ongoing filmic investigating of perversion and Jewish sexuality. He will also be showing three short videos he shot in Tel Aviv (2003), London (2004) and Accra, Ghana (2007), which he made as part of his ongoing video-project “Lectures”.
Koolhaas Houselife is a film by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine on one of the masterpieces of contemporary architecture: the house in Bordeaux designed by Rem Koolhaas / OMA. Unlike most movies about architecture, this feature focuses less on explaining the building, its structure and its virtuosity than on letting the viewer enter into the invisible bubble of the daily intimacy of one of the icons of contemporary architecture. This experiment presents a new way of looking at architecture and broadens the field of its representation.
Like any house, this is a place where different lives are lived, with all its chaos, its wear and tear, and its changes. The work of Bêka and Lemoine offers us a portrait of the real and changing vitality of one of those monuments that we believe are immortal. This is realized through the stories and daily chores of Guadalupe Acedo, the home’s caretaker and housekeeper, and the other people who look after the building. Following and interacting
with Guadalupe, blooms an unusual and unpredictable look at the spaces and structure of the building.