In 2013, Boris Brorman Jensen was asked to be the specialist advisor on the second exhibition in the exhibition series Architecture & Identity at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.
Based on Boris’s profound knowledge of contemporary Arab architecture and urban planning as well as his PhD thesis ‘Rediscovering the City – Tracing Contemporary Urbanism’, he worked with the Louisiana team to prepare the theoretical foundation and the overall concept of the exhibition Arab Contemporary, which opened in January 2014.
Similar to the first exhibition in the series, Arab Contemporary aimed to look into the relationship between architecture and identity: How does architecture help to create identity and develop a distinctive culture? The Arab world is undergoing huge changes these years, politically, socially and architecturally. Arab architects in particular are stuck in an intermediate position – torn between a construction industry dominated by commercial interests and large foreign architectural studios and ambitions of rediscovering or redefining a local, site-specific architecture. With the exhibition, Louisiana raised the question of whether a critical regionalism is emerging in contemporary Arab architecture and this painted a picture of what characterizes the Arab world in these years.
The exhibition included both architectural works and visual art and was divided into five sections, all of which related to the fundamental spatial organization of life that permeates the Arab world.
Three selected architectural offices all working in the Arab world offered their views of the current transformation of contemporary Arab culture: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris; Henning Larsen Architects, Copenhagen; and X-Architects, Dubai.
Boris contributed to the choice of architects and the works displayed and formed part of the curatorial team that worked out the main themes and the exhibition design.
As curator of the theme ‘From Genius Loci to Genius Logo’, which addressed contemporary urban planning in Dubai, Boris introduced one of the main statements of the exhibition with the concept of ‘Genius Logo’ and ‘Bingo Urbanism’. The case story was based on film, photos and text by Boris. Boris was also a co-editor for the exhibition catalogue and contributed with the article Hyperabia.
Download and read the article Hyperabia from the exhibition catalogue pdf
Other texts by Boris Brorman Jensen on architecture and urban development in the Arab Gulf:
– Masdar City: a critical retrospection pdf
See also Louisiana’s ARAB CONTEMPORARY exhibition website: www.louisiana.dk
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