Sunday, October 24, 2010

Robie House on Fire -- Luftwerk Interprets Frank Lloyd Wright's Iconic Prairie House with Light and Sound

Last night I went to an event at the Robie House in Hyde Park. There were two treats for attendees. The first was that virtually the entire house was open for casual viewing. Usually, one can only take a guided tour.

The second treat was "Projecting Modern", a one-time, site-specific installation developed by Petra Poul
Bachmaier and Sean Michael Gallero, jointly Luftwerk. A sound and light installation focused on the third floor, part of the exhibit could be seen from the street outside the Robie House (see bottom photo of the projection on the eave).

Luftwerk thoroughly researched the house and Mr. Wright and did something that would be very difficult to do in such a masterful work of architecture -- they added to it, in a respectful and thoughtful way. The installation included many beautiful and thought-provoking elements. The highlights were: Projections of images based on leaves (see top photo, blurred with exposure over time), geometric shapes changed through projection onto two planes, architectural details highlighted and projected onto adjacent walls, and a loop of Mr. Wright speaking about nature and the connection between the inside and outside of "whatever is". There were also boxes on the floor, through which cut-out quotations from Frank Lloyd Wright were illuminated.

Two of the quotations were "buildings, too, are children
of the Earth and Sun" and "the space within becomes the reality of the building". Mr. Wright tried to do the seemingly paradoxical and take advantage of the ephemeral in his buildings. Ms. Bachmaier and Mr. Gallero pushed this with their installation. They made us look more closely at the Robie House and they did so using the ephemeral, light, part of the house's strength.

Thank you, Luftwerk.

1 comment:

  1. This people are such a talented artists, we would love to have them here in california soon!!!