Design of the exhibition display by Andreas Fogarasi and Christian Teckert, MAK Vienna, 2013
The spatial concept for the exhibition EASTERN PROMISES at the MAK Vienna consisted of three layers: a panoramic wallpaper with research material, the "Kino-House" and the displays, on which the selected projects were presented. The walls of the exhibition spaces were covered by a “map” in an axonometric grid, in which researches, and artistic contributions – photos, maps, diagrams and videos – on selected spatial symptoms of the regions are located, thereby portraying essential preconditons for contemporary architectural production.
In the "Kino-House" in the central exhibition hall experimental cinematic approaches on the region's everyday landscapes were presented by Andréa Picard. Built for showing a selection of films dealing with specific phenomana in East-Asian space production, the built structure itself represents a transformation of the historic types of East Asian houses organized around a horizontal plane, – a floor, that was highly adaptable and could be re-programmed according to different forms of use or social situations.
The display elements were conceived as freestanding objects in an axonometric grid – a non-hierarchical, horizontal field of relations. Especially in East Asia the historical representations of space were based on a very different system than in the West: axonometric and isometric. This form of representation involves a non-centric, non-hierarchic concept of space and in our opinion is still a formative structure behind today’s ideas about architecture and, furthermore, urbanism.
Axonometric logic is a key element for the exhibition design: the walls of the exhibition gallery are covered by a “map” in which heterogeneous materials relating to the regions find a place. The freestanding displays presenting the architectural projects are based on their historical predecessors, screens, which were important conveyors of spatial representation in Chinese and later Japanese culture. Their installation in the strictly diagonal grid references the logic of so-called Japanese axonometric, which was introduced in Europe in the eighteenth century. This form of representation permits the egalitarian arrangement of objects and subjects in the space, and has no place for a focal point. No ultimate solution is to be reached, but the promise of an “other” space. EASTERN PROMISES seeks to find arrangements that enables access into this space and and to unfold it's complexities.