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17 Volcanoes - Figures in the Landscape of Java, 2016

gta exhibitions, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Princeton School of Architecture Gallery, New Jersey, USA
NUS Museum, Singapore

Group Exhibition


curated by Alex Lehnerer and Philip Ursprung

with works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Bas Princen, Armin Linke, Wermke/Leinkauf and U5


The exhibition celebrates volcanoes as figures in the landscape of Java, as politically, economically, and culturally-charged objects whose ambiguous existence makes them particularly interesting for architectural scrutiny. Volcanoes act and behave in periodic cycles, they are neither urban nor rural, neither alive nor dead, neither past nor present, neither good nor bad. As giant figures in the landscape, they create the land and conti- nuously transform it. Despite their overwhelming potential for destructiveness, they produce fertile grounds to feed one of the world’s most densely populated islands.

This exhibition marks the start of a three-year collaborative research project between the Professorship of Art and Architectural History of Philip Ursprung, the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Urban Design of Alex Lehnerer, and a group of external partners. It is part of the Future Cities Laboratory/Singapore ETH-Center and funded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore. As part of the research team U5 accompanies the project. The exhibition «17 Volcanoes» took place in Zürich (2016), Montreal (2016) and New Jersey (2017). Expanded exhibitions in Singapore (2017), Bandung (tbc) and Berlin (tbc) will follow.


For the exhibition U5 developed a video work titled Dynamic Normal Activity“ and a cocktail called "Dengue Sling“:


17Volcanoes-00.jpg

"Dynamic Normal Activity", 2016
Video DV PAL, 16:09
26:43 min
Sound: Claudio Bucher
https://youtu.be/nvWH3HF1qI0


17Volcanoes-02.jpg

"Dengue Sling", 2016 
Signature drink, Menu-booklet & Fake food model (Multiple 6pcs)
21 x 21 x 41 cm (Multiple with plexiglass case)


17Volcanoes-01.jpg


17Volcanoes-03.jpg


DYNAMIC NORMAL ACTIVITY

"Dynamic Normal Activity", 2016
Video DV PAL, 16:09
26:43 min
Sound: Claudio Bucher
https://youtu.be/nvWH3HF1qI0

The juxtapositions between volcanoes and city scenes, the similarities drawn between the volcanoes in Indonesia and the rising skyscrapers and the air-conditioned malls of Singapore are not coincidental or purely formal in nature.

Volcanoes exist as markers of the earth’s fault-lines. And this film suggests at once an apparent fault-line between Indonesia and Singapore, but also through its sheer movement and flows suggests also a complication and relationship that is connected by way of the volcanoes. The ability to build a city, and a city as perhaps as spectacular as it is problematic like Singapore, requires a number of significant processes - one of which is undoubtedly the excavation of materials or minerals from volcanic eruptions. Here, in the case of the volcanoes in Indonesia, this would be largely the extraction of sulphur which then gets channeled through to several manufacturing processes - e.g. cosmetics, fertilisers, petroleum processing, insecticides. In other words, what this film does is to suggest a deeper time in thinking about the underlying processes that enables a consumerist city like Singapore to function, before we talk about urban policies or the infrastructure of a city, and to propose the eruption of the volcano into our imagination of Singapore.

Could we then tentatively describe this film as a proposal towards a geological imagination of a city like Singapore? The future of cities like Singapore does not merely reside in the constructions of new housing projects or new traffic infrastructures that would move the people and information around more smoothly. Those are of immediate concern of course, but to take a deeper time, it might be the volcanoes of our neighbours that we should be looking at.

That’s the scale of time that, I think, is evoked in the film, when we think about the longer takes of the volcanoes against the fast, frantic montages of Singapore’s cityscapes. The much longer history of the volcanoes vis-a-vis the shorter histories of cities. And then underneath it all, it seems, lava continues to flow. Lava, as ejecta, reminds us that the earth is constantly moving; it sweats, it bleeds, it shits. But I am also interested in the nature of lava once it spills out onto the surface of the earth because that troubles any linear understanding of time. So the usual linear reading of the earth’s history through its geological strata is troubled by this eruption. So perhaps this better explains why it was important to have the video looped.

Text by Kenneth Tay (Curator NUS Museum, Singapore)


17Volcanoes-04.jpg

filmstill "Dynamic Normal Activity", 2016


17Volcanoes-05.jpg

filmstill "Dynamic Normal Activity", 2016


17Volcanoes-06.jpg

filmstill "Dynamic Normal Activity", 2016


DENGUE SLING

"Dengue Sling", 2016 
Signature drink, Menu-booklet & Fake food model (Multiple 6pcs)
21 x 21 x 41 cm (Multiple with plexiglass case)


30 ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
20 ml Campari
120 ml Tonic Water
A dash of Angostura Bitters
1 tsp. of Chia Seeds soaked in Blue Curaçao Garnish  
with a stick of lemon grass

DengueSling-freigestellt.jpg


The „Dengue Sling“ is inspired by the famous cocktail „Singapore Sling“. The Singapore Sling – “sling” means a mixture of gin, water and sweetener - is Singapore’s signature cocktail since the early 20th century. U5 created a new cocktail in order to replace the symbol of the British colonization. Dengue is a tropical fever that endangers the entire region of South East Asia. The ingredients of the cocktail - such as Tonic Water, Angostura Bitters and Campari - contain quinine, formerly used as malaria medication. The drink changes its color from amber (before stirring), to grey (after stirring), to light blue.


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 1.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 2.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 3.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 4.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 5.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 6.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 7.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016


DS-Booklett RGB Seite 8.jpg

booklet "Dengue Sling", 2016