ELASTICITY OF SPACE
- on materials, operational artistic strategies and the body as mediator for spatial production
Gabi Schillig´s work aims to create temporary situations by developing material interfaces that establish subversive - and often absurd - relationships between the body and its environment. Her ongoing research is exploring the re-appropriation of the physical by using material strategies as a cultural technique, negotiating the boundaries between bodies, the non-constructed and the constructed. It is geometry that is used as a vehicle of imagination and it is the physical towards the structural that is of specific interest here - form is apprehended as elements enter into physical action. The structures wait for activation and are simply meant to be held, worn, to be laid in or stood under, used by one, two or more people, creating strange moments of social intimacy. Processes are dependent on structure, while the work folds open and back upon a series of situations, provoking a constant re-organization of the object-subject-environment relation.
Those spatial devices engage the constructing architect and the contextualizing spectator during a process of transformability and enactment. The textile structures can be seen as a diagram, for re-activating a site, re-inscribing certain questions revolving around the city, the landscape, subjectivity and agency. The role of geometry is not about the reproduction of form, but about organizing forces and mediating space. In the end not the construction of form is of importance but an invention of a world that needs to be discovered, resulting in the continuation of the body in space where those animated geometries enable a dynamic concrete, corporeal and sensuous experience in real space in real time. Taking action means to involve the whole body, people and the environment with regards to contents, incorporating own imaginative power - sensing relations of the own inner relation to the outside world by using spatial structures as tools for modifying the real.
Gabi Schillig (born 1977 in Coburg) studied Architecture and Conceptual Design in Coburg and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt (Class Prof. Ben van Berkel). She worked for several architectural studios in Berlin, Sydney, Frankfurt and Coburg before establishing her own research and artistic practice in Berlin. She is teaching at the Berlin University of the Arts / Institute for Transmedia Design where she is currently preparing her dissertation. Gabi Schillig has lectured and taught internationally and received numerous fellowships - amongst others, fellowships at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Van Alen Institute New York and the Nordic Artists´ Centre in Dalsåsen, Norway. In 2010, she was awarded the Weissenhof-Architekturförderpreis 4 for Young Architects. Besides other own publications, Mediating Space. soft geometries - textile structures - body architecture, a monographic catalog on her recent work has been published by merz & solitude in 2009.
seminar/workshop *PERFORMATIVE BODIES
In architectural design processes, methods and techniques come before anything else. Spatial organisation is all about establishing specific relations on various levels. On a small scale of a pre-architectural model it is about the development of techniques and how different materials and elements act in connection or opposition to each other, while later, on the larger scale of becoming architecture, these relations will draw parallels between their aesthetic and functional system and their implementation (relations to the human body, movement, program, location). The Seminar held by Gabi Schilling approached the human body and its movement in space both as a transformative force for spatial production and as a "site" for implementation of operative spatial constructs. Those architectural systems might evolve into body architecture and can become spatial devices to extend the body´s capacities and desires.
It is in particular the human body that serves as a transformative force but also as a site of implementation of such operative spatial constructs. Those architectural systems can be considered as some kind of body architecture, an architecture that is constructed for the body. They are spatial instruments that have the potential to expand the body in space, to project desires of people. This approach questions therefore solely digital design process which risks eliminating the human body and its senses as an active component within spatial design processes.
During the seminar at the department of Art and Science, the students had investigated methods and tools extracted from an analysis of selected artists´ works and performances that are dealing with the body and its relation with space and time. Students were asked to bring a picture and a small model as material to work during the seminar. The model should show a specific (spatial) principle to be found in the selected artwork. During the seminar the students investigated elements, intentions, materiality, processes and operations that emerge from the observation, speculations and manipulations based on those works. At the end we discuss ed the emerging "materials", comparing the different cases, and its possible abstractions and contextual meanings of further developing which might lead to different variations of design models.