Origins

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Origins was a series of installations exploring the foundation myths of classical architecture, exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) (2015-16). The exhibition related to specific paintings, sculptures and architectural manuscripts within the RA collection and occupied prominent sites within the main public and circulation spaces of the gallery. The installations explored a variety of materials and fabrication techniques that related conceptually to the source material.

Recent exhibitions such as the 2018 Chicago Biennale (Make New History) and the Architecture Foundation’s ‘Metamorphoses: Classical Currents in Contemporary Practice’ symposium (2018) demonstrated a renewed interest amongst contemporary architects in classicism and the role of historical precedent. Origins contributed to this strand of enquiry by focusing on the ‘origin myths’ of classical architecture and how these have been interpreted by contemporary architects. The exhibition proposed an understanding of the role of myth in the development of architectural form historically as a stimulus for the development of the contemporary language of building and meaningful form.

The work developed through an analysis of the pedagogic role of the RA in the historical evolution of British architecture, through the RA’s library and collection, teaching and exhibition programme and the buildings it occupies. Through a process of joint research with librarians and curators at the RA, the research developed critical re-readings of work within the collection, drawing out connections between classical and modernist theory and bodies of work and insights into the role of narrative and myth in architectural language.

The exhibition was further disseminated through a panel discussion between Charles Holland, Joseph Rykwert and Kieran Reed at the RA (2015), public lectures at the Bartlett (2016), the Architectural Association (2017) and the University of Brighton (2018).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRoyal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016

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