Before/After Mass Studies Does Architecture

20 Nov 2014 – 1 Feb 2015

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PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art presents Before/After Mass Studies Does Architecture, an exhibition of of the architect Minsuk Cho. With the constant blurring between the boundaries of art and architecture, the exhibition reexamines architecture as a concurrent force of contemporary art that shapes the cultural terrain of our time.


As the everyday gains importance, contemporary art emphasizes the experience of the artwork as a site-specific, architectural space. Contemporary architecture, on the other hand, delves into installations within the spaces of art and publicity and the performative nature of the discipline.  


Before/After provides an overview of Cho's work over the past 12 years. Centered on the before and after of doing architecture, it offers a critical reflection on the status of the architectural discipline in Korea and in the global arena. Minsuk Cho studies the fundamentals of architecture and observes the logic of high-density urban life. While acknowledging that architecture operates within the mechanisms of the market, it proposes productive alternatives that imagine anew our identity and our relations of space. While incorporating existing systems such as the flat slab, Cho's concepts such as systematic heterogeneity, time-specific architecture, collective intimacy, and domino/dome-ino are intertwined with structural, material, spatial, and programmatic transformations that present the possibility of new ways of living.


Mass Studies works in a period of rapid change. During the past 20 years, Korea's construction industry has shrunk in proportion to the explosive growth of internet use. In this situation, architecture as a productive medium of sense, knowledge, and capital enters a critical stage of evolution. Irrespective of the architect's intention, architecture is consumed and reproduced within an infinite space. Architectural projects remain mostly unrealized and their before and after seem to exist as two parallel universes. In this reality, what is done in the in-between is crucial. Against the notion of architecture as a crystallized set of complete buildings, Before/After highlights architecture as a temporal and physical presence, as the multidimensional performances of diverse actors. Before/After proposes that architecture is a process for producing not only buildings but also sense and knowledge.

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