Monument to the Right Angle
Series of 4 sculptures
Produced for the exhibition Modern Dialect at the M HKA, Antwerp. Curated by Win Van den Abbeele
Includes work by Corey McCorkle, Marte Johnslien, Luc Kheradmand, Mark Macken, Jef Verheyen, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Erik van Lieshout, Kris Fierens & Tinka Pittoors, David Diao, Susanne Kriemann, Pavel Büchler en Tim Etchells.
Looking back at an oeuvre that united architecture, commitment, politics and reflection as an art form. August 2010 marks the centenary of the birth of one of Belgium’s best-known architects, Renaat Braem, and this is being celebrated in ‘Renaat Braem 1910-2010’. Part of it is an exhibition called Modern Dialect that will be held at three venues: the top floors of the M HKA (LATT), CC Nova in Hoboken and on the Braem site itself. It brings Braem’s modernist formal idiom face to face with work by contemporary artists. Their sculptures and installations expose a number of paradoxes and create a multifaceted view of modernism and the social utopia of that movement, which still has an influence on international architecture today.
The title Monument to the right angle, is borrowed from one of Braem's own titles. It is a piece that is process-oriented, produced from certain parameters deriving from Braem's work, and his connection to Le Corbusier. Braem was an apprentice to Le Corbusier, despite his disagreement with the master's socio-political convictions.
Each sculpture is a combination of an abstract, geometric structure and an organic, random form. The geometric structures were planted into wet plaster that was poured into dug-out shapes in the wet sand. This plaster cast process was practised by Le Corbusier. It can be seen as action-sculpture, a technique that most people would not associate with the rational work of Le Corbusier.
Marte Johnslien uses this technique in combination with Braem's work to highlight tensions between the two architects. And she anchors the idea in a specific piece by Braem that was never built, the Monument to the right angle. The monument was supposed to be part of the cultural centre of la Cité Modèle, and the idea of it was among other things to 'express the fact that man, surrounded by nature, will express his will for domination through the sign of the right angle..' (Braem)
From the production of the piece: