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September 30th, 2007 - click opera — LiveJournal
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September 30th, 2007
Sun, Sep. 30th, 2007 01:15 am

There's a touching scene in Kurosawa's 1970 film Dodesukaden where an old homeless man conjures in thin air, to inspire the little boy who's his only friend, his dream home. I thought of the scene yesterday at Preview Berlin, the emerging art fair held in the Tempelhof airport (a building with a darker architectural legacy; Albert Speer redesigned its interior) looking at a fantasy architectural model called "Pacific Swiss" by artist Matthew Houlding.



Matthew Houlding is a 40 year-old British artist who spent his formative years in Kenya. He makes scale models of unlikely or impossible buildings. The structures (they'd make bizarrely brilliant miniature railway scenery) use common packaging materials -- old KFC boxes and stuff. The technique is one Houlding picked up in Kenya, where people recycle old petrol tins into toy cars and planes.

When I got home I googled up some of Houlding's other creations:


Summertime (2004)


Cartel Beach House (2004)


Installation view (2005)

Another Preview artist had installed some 3D photos of illuminated Chinese skyscrapers perched above a big pool of oil. Apart from the architectural art, I thought the strongest work -- and the most committed buzz -- was around the Eastern European galleries; I liked the Polish booths here and at the Berliner Liste (a duller fair than Preview), and this interesting gallery, Budapest's Impex. There's something good -- some kind of interesting art energy -- in Eastern Europe just now.

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