The London exhibition of Jason Oddy‘s photographs, Concrete Spring, jointly held at the Embassy of Brazil and Coya focuses on the Brasilian architect Oscar Niemeyer‘s projects in Algeria between 1968 and 1975, shortly after the country’s independence. During the course of his lifetime Niemeyer redefined the interaction between architecture and public space, imbuing the ideas of Bauhaus and Le Corbusier with a radically new perspective. More than once Niemeyer came up with a way of reimagining government, national identity and the State as provider of culture and knowledge. Applied to Algeria at the invitation of the then socialist president, the fundamental political concepts that underpinned his practice are here once more in evidence. In Concrete Spring, questions such as those of national awakening, the durability of humanist ideals, the amplification of the democratic agora and the transformative power of architecture are placed centre stage.
In his longstanding investigation of place Oddy seeks to lay bare the usually imperceptible forces that lie embedded in the built environment. As his work suggests, we undergo a subjectification through architecture. Manmade space is always an ideological prism.
Jason Oddy‘s work is an investigation of place. From the Pentagon to Guantanamo Bay, and from ex-Soviet sanatoria to cryonics facilities in America, it seeks to take us beyond the specific sites that he painstakingly photographs to the ideas and forces that lie behind them. His work has been exhibited internationally including at The Photographers’ Gallery (London), Yossi Milo Gallery (New York) and Paris Photo. The series Concrete Spring has recently been exhibited at the Milan Triennale, the Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam) and currently forms part of the exhibition “Made in Algeria, Généalogie d’un territoire” at the MuCEM (Marseilles). Oddy’s work is held in a number of important public and private collections including those of the Wellcome Foundation, Channel 4, Citibank Private Bank, the Michael Wilson Centre For Photography and the Elton John collection.
Laurent Delaye Art Projects is a site-specific curatorial practice operating in London and Paris, in collaboration with artists, curators, writers and collectors. http://www.laurentdelaye.com
Exhibition: Jason Oddy Concrete Spring Oscar Niemeyer, Algeria and the Architecture of Revolution
- 14 April – 29 April 2016, 6–8.30pm – Embassy of Brazil, Gallery G32, 14-16 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y
- 26 April – 1 July, 10.30am–midnight – Coya, 118 Piccadilly, W1J 7NJ
Talk: Oscar Niemeyer’s Algerian decade: curves, concrete and the dream of social change
Thursday 28 April, 6.30-8pm at the Auditorium of the Embassy of Brazil
To coincide with the exhibitions by Jason Oddy at the Embassy of Brazil: Coya, and the Embassy of Brazil is organising a panel discussion on the implications of modernist architecture in shaping an open urban society, and how Niemeyer, engaged photography and the challenges architecture faces in the shifting geo-political landscapes of our time.
Chair: Ben Lewis, writer and filmmaker – Ricardo de Ostos, director of NaJa & deOstos – Olivier Richon, Professor at the Royal College of Art – Owen Hopkins, Architecture Program Curator at the Royal Academy – Jason Oddy, Artist
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Laurent Delaye Art Projects
Embassy of Brazil – Fernanda Franco
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