For an exhibition about architecture, Fieldwork is strangely void of buildings. “I think people are going to find that a bit unusual,” admits Sarah Hearne, Fieldwork curator and Lecturer in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building.
“This exhibition will be challenging and will hopefully broaden people’s ideas of what architecture can be.”
In the exhibition, on display in the UTS Gallery, Hearne is presenting the works of six architectural practices who explore the evolving nature of collection, research, and display.
She hopes to spark a conversation about the changing nature of information gathering, storage and exhibition outside the studio, as well as the new ways architectural research is displayed and consumed in the gallery space.
“The platforms we now have to show architectural work are expanding,” Hearne explains.
“Fieldwork is a chance to start thinking about other ways of practising and displaying architecture, because we’re going to see a lot more of these types of platforms in the future.
“All of the works in Fieldwork have been displayed in either a biennale or triennale, and there are several of these more exhibitionary events now for architecture where you’re not necessarily presenting a built work.”
Back in the UTS Gallery, the audience can expect to see a range of inter-media installations, from Urtzi Grau’s 10-metre long diorama of Indo-Pacific cities to Cooking Sections’ interactive fountain that dispenses either rum or bio-ethanol depending on the fluctuating price of oil stocks.
Hearne says, “There are some people in the exhibition who want to talk about the content of their research, like Urtzi Grau who is looking at the politics of cities in the Indo Pacific. So there’ll be a more rhetorical, narrative approach there.
“Then there are others, like First Office, where the conversation will be more about technique. It doesn’t necessarily matter what the content is, what is interesting for them is the way we communicate that information.”
Fieldwork will also feature installations from Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, UCLA’s Besler & Sons and Archive of Affinities.
They, together with First Office, presented and discussed their works at a symposium, which kick-started the exhibition on 16 March. Also featured, was a keynote by internationally acclaimed architecture historian and curator Sylvia Lavin.
For Hearne, the aim of the exhibition is simple: “I want to open a conversation”.
“It’s a chance for the audience, especially students, to think about new ways of practising architecture.”
Fieldwork is on display in the UTS Gallery, Building 6, level 4 until 29 April. For more information, visit art.uts.edu.au