We were invited to produce an architectural exhibition for the WUHo gallery - a small storefront venue on Los Angeles’s storied Hollywood Boulevard. Against a backdrop of consummate glitz – the setting for the Academy Awards, the unremitting stars on the Walk of Fame and the unbridled spectacle of Hollywood’s canonical theaters – the gallery seemed quaint, humble, let’s say, invisible. In this context, architecture’s formal preoccupations appeared outmoded against the force and vitality of performative conspicuous consumption.
Confronting the reality of the streetscape, and the indiscernibility of the architectural exhibition space, we focused on deployable performance as spatial strategy. As a consequence, in lieu of a polite architectural exhibition, we staged a spatial transformation. Part scenographic intervention, part inhabitable supergraphic, the installation cast aside conventional notions of architectural connoisseurship in favor of a direct engagement with the multiple publics. We imagined the project as a grand-scale temporary self-propagating selfiematon, inviting tourists and Angelinos inside for their own red carpet moment. Stars plucked from the famous sidewalk and projected through the gallery, producing a series of spatial distortions replete with filmic references to superheroes, hyperspace, hypnotism, evil lairs and astrophysical singularities. Upon entry into the space, the rough qualities of the exposed construction reveal the temporary nature of the illusion. Cutting from one void to the next, visitors made their way to a projection room where video and text describe the formal procedures at play.
THE BETA MOVEMENT
Los Angeles, California, 2011
Design Leads: Anya Sirota, Jean Louis Farges
Collaboration: Steven Christensen
Curator: Christian Stayner
Fictional Narrative: Youna Kwak
Design Team: Bruce Findling, Kayla Kim
Production Team: Geovanny Chavez, Anais Farges, Brandon Harvey, Jason Stock
This project was made possible through support from Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Special thanks to Jason Stock and Mary Anne Drew.