Karina Nimmerfall
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[2023] Aesthetic Fiction (Dismantling the Light of Frank Lloyd Wright)

A Discursive Setting for Study and Play
Wooden construction, puzzles, sitting mats, research folders, narrative script (English/Japanese) for performative reading
260 x 360 x 4,5 cm (dimensions variable)

Aesthetic Fiction (Dismantling the Light of Frank Lloyd Wright) is the prologue to a work-in-progress that explores the complexities of intercultural exchange and translation, as well as issues of the role of technology and rationality as a Western-influenced paradigm of progress in modernity. To this end, it revisits the specific cultural and historical contexts of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (opened in 1922 and demolished in 1968) which was conceived in the Japanese tradition of a "home away from home" for Western guests.

Departing from the beloved U.S. architect’s romantic fetishization of Japanese aesthetics (with his refusal to acknowledge a direct influence on his work), the project attempts a critical rereading by following traces from the site and its representations to the archive and beyond, thinking about cultural identity, the concept of foreignness, heritage and disaster, as well as current issues of cultural appropriation and commodification.

"[…] Despite its material concreteness, architectural space always alludes elsewhere; studios and exhibition spaces are no exception. Hence, she arrives at the discursive realm of a setting, where the past, present, and future exist simultaneously, and research and artistic production might disperse and recombine in unimaginable ways. A sort of library, or archive, or laboratory in-process, one that is not an instructional institution; A space that simply offers new possibilities for exchange, artistic experimentation, study, and play. If we want to know what this will have meant, we will only know in the times to come. Perhaps. Not tomorrow, but later on, or perhaps never?* […]" – Excerpt from Aesthetic Fiction (Dismantling the Light of Frank Lloyd Wright)

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