Glass Video Gallery
Commissioned by the City of Groningen as a temporary structure for a music and video festival, this video gallery is now a permanent work owned by the Groningen Museum. Designed on a small budget, it is a simple rectangular building made out of one material—glass. It responds to a contemporary architectural condition in which the appearance of permanence is increasingly challenged by the immaterial representation of abstract systems in the form of television and electronic images. more
The invitation to design a special environment for viewing pop-music videos also offered opportunities to challenge preconceived ideas about spectatorship and privacy. Was the video gallery to be a static and enclosed black box (like the architectural type created for cinema), an extended living room with exterior advertising billboards and neon light, or a new “type” that brought what was previously a living room, bar, or lounge event out into the street?
The video gallery was our first work to deal with the concept of the envelope. It is about the movement of the body as it travels through the exhibition space and about the enclosure, which is made entirely out of glass held by clips, including its vertical supports and horizontal beams. The resulting structure gives priority to the image. The monitors inside provide unstable facades, while the glass reflections create mirages that suggest limitless space. At night, the space becomes an ensemble of mirrors and reflections, and questions both what is real and what is virtual, and whether the envelope is an actual structure or an illusionistic spectacle.
The glass video gallery proposes parallels to urban space, insofar as both contain video objects that are on display as well as objects for displaying them. These parallels extend to both the long monitor walls viewed through television dealership storefronts on the street and the sights visible in the sex-video galleries of urban red-light districts. back
840 sq. feet, surface area 538 sq. feet
City of Groningen
Pinkster & Tahl
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Mark Haukos, Robert Young