Props exhibit fill empty spaces of Zaha Hadid’s CAC in Cincinnati


Artist and architect Lauren Henkin has created a collection of sculptures to fill “unintended” set up spaces in the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio designed by late architect Zaha Hadid.

Props Exhibition at Zaha Hadid Contemporary Arts Centre

Cincinnati’s CAC will unveil Props, an exhibition of eight “site-responsive” sculptures by artist and architect Lauren Henkin, to the general public on 22 November 2019.

Henkin created her debut sculpture assortment to be an inventive “interrogation” of stylistic components that outline the museum’s construction, which was accomplished by Hadid in 2003, marking her first undertaking in the US and the first-ever main museum designed by a girl.

Props Exhibition at Zaha Hadid Contemporary Arts Centre

The CAC’s curator, Steven Matijcio, commissioned Henkin to fill 95 cubic metres of surprising set up places in the constructing with works impressed by the unused spaces.

“We contemplated how her provisional sculptural interventions could activate in the CAC’s Zaha Hadid building, which was designed to disorient audiences and open them up to revised forms of navigation through museum space” Matijcio informed Dezeen.

Props Exhibition at Zaha Hadid Contemporary Arts Centre

The “props” on present are supposed to spice up viewers’ consideration of Hadid’s personal gestural, formal, and useful intentions.

Henkin goals to realize this through the use of building supplies, like lumber, PVC pipes and wires – many coming from the utility closets across the museum – and by putting the sculptures outdoors the usual exhibition spaces.

“I wanted to break the formality of those marks by using materials that felt rough, unkempt and unexpected,” Henkin informed Dezeen.

Props Exhibition at Zaha Hadid Contemporary Arts Centre

“Opening this dialog was very important to me because it would then challenge the viewer to consider what their own criteria is in determining whether something is art,” she mentioned. “That evolution in thought would have a lasting impact on how one sees once leaving the museum as well.”

Sculptures are placed in locations both bold and unassuming, like dangling above the vertical plane of Hadid’s “Urban Carpet” in the lobby, or placed in vestibules, on benches, and even in bathroom corners. They purposefully sit in circulation spaces where one can only see the work from above or below, or while climbing or descending stairs.

Props Exhibition at Zaha Hadid Contemporary Arts Centre

“There are multiple layers to how one will engage these interventions that includes an evaluation and reimagining of the space, the objects as sculpture and then as environments in which the two are inseparable,” said Henken.

“What makes this entire prospect exciting is not being able to dictate the order in which this process occurs.”

Props Exhibition at Zaha Hadid Contemporary Arts Centre

Props will be on show from November 22 2019 to March 2020.

CAC was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects as a monument to modern art. The firm was founded in 1980 by Hadid, who passed away in 2016, and is now led by Patrik Schumacher.

Other cultural venues that the firm has completed are the MAXXI Museum in Rome and the Messner Mountain Museum Corones in Italy.

Photography is by Jeremy Kramer.



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