Ferda Kolatan: In pursuit of the allusive object (March 7, 2018)

Hernan Diaz Alonso introduces Ferda Kolatan of su11 architecture+design, quoting Douglas MacArthur, “The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave,” and showing the Black Knight scene from Mony Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

Kolatan discusses his work with Erich Schoenenberger and Hart Marlow at su11 in terms of rococo, starting with 16th century nautilus cups that mix found objects and fabrications, reality and fiction, global trade and local craft, forming a totality but not a whole. He examines in detail 18th century Rococo rocaille ornament in the work of Jean Mondon, Jean-François de Cuvilliès, Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier, the Porcelain Room in Aranjuez Palace (Giuseppe Gricci, 1765), the Wies Church, Steingaden (Dominikus Zimmermann, 1757), stressing seven aspects:
•The hybrid mix of different elements from different realms, abolishing categories
•Humans mingling with objects as objects, softening any anthropocentric focus
•Abstraction and figuration coinciding as aspects of the same motif
•Planar elements treated as objects
•Mundane, everyday life rendered extraordinary
•Solitary individual artwork becomes multiple, through reproduction, dissemination, mass production
•Mingling illusion and reality in terms of material, as in scagliola imitation marble, abolishing materiality

Kolatan detects these elements in the seemingly different Super-Kamioka Neutrino Detection Experiment under Mt. Ikeno; especially as the place is represented in Andreas Gursky’s 2007 photo-work “Kamiokande.”

He notes the usefulness of Donna Haraway’s neologism “oddkin,” describing unexpected collaboration/combination.

Kolatan discusses several projects, including:
•Corallines (2012) for the Istanbul Design Biennale
•Coral Column (2016)
•Faucets (2015-7)
•Composite House (2003) for the Walker Art Center
•3 Residences: K, B & L (2009, 2013, 2017)
•Medini Palm-Oil Farm (2017) for the Malaysia Biennale
•Competition entry for a Science City outside of Cairo (2016)
•Real Fictions series of projects (2016-7) that attempt to address current conditions in Cairo without being masterplans or interventions.

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