gewächshaus für
zeitgenössische kunst

super bien!














urban intervention | 2.12.06 - 21.2.2007
Carlos Silva

Initially trained as an architect, Carlos Silvas’ work now takes as its point of departure the city as a modular set of numbers and equations. A typical western city is constructed in codes; architectural equations that tell us the proper proportions of things. Seen in this light the city is not a random assortment of cubes and rectangles it is full of complex interrelations governed primarily by mathematics.

We don’t need to look much further back than the promised architectural utopias of the early twentieth century or indeed, the idealization of geometry and proportion in the renaissance to recognize the deep currents running through humanities desire for pleasing proportions. But not only do these geometries, equations and “rules” of design have aesthetic consequences it is their versatile functionality that makes them so useful in the complex mega-cities of today and also what interests Silva.

At the greenhouse at super bien! he has selected what could be described as a random point in space; the middle of this greenhouse\courtyard in Berlin. And has used this spot as a viewpoint to construct a drawing on the transparent walls based on the surrounding architecture. Rather than merely render the buildings, he has improvised a kind of homage to the underlying structures of the man-made space. Further reinforcing this approach is the use of commercial tape as a drawing tool, whose very colours, forms and thicknesses conform to the same standards as the architecture. Silvas’ work is therefore reversing the usual order of function over form; the geometries inherent in the architecture have been transformed into a playful and colourful aesthetic language. The resultant forms are drained of their functionality and enter into a broader dialogue with modernist formalism. And in some ways what he is doing is not just highlighting the existence of these standards but he is willing these invisible structures into our field of vision. We can’t see how the city is really constructed, there is no viewpoint from where you can come to an understanding of its complexity. This is one imagined viewpoint that is possible among many. - David Keating


  aktuell vom 18.07.2007 | copyright by Anne Katrin Stork, Carlos Silva, David Keating