The Model as Ruin – The Oslo Architecture Exhibition

1 November – 15 December 2013 / Kunstnernes Hus, Wergelandsveien 17, Oslo

In September 1931, a grand display of contemporary Norwegian architecture was shown in the House of Artists in Oslo. The recently inaugurated Kunsthalle was filled to the brim by scale models, photographs, drawings, and installations. At the core of the exhibition was the “Permanent Collection” of scale models and photography, founded by Norwegian architects in 1925, and containing key works of Norwegian modernism, including the model of the House of Artists itself. In different configurations, the collection travelled to Brussels, Kiel, Helsinki, Budapest, Berlin, Milan, Paris and New York as part of the international display and circulation of architectural modernism.
Model as Ruin returns to this model collection, fragments of which have miraculously survived in the Oslo City Archives. The exhibition testify to another modernism; not white and austere but colourful, diverse, and full of detail. The fragile models are miniature monuments of futures past; utopia and ruin at the same time.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Museum, Oslo City Archives, and Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
Curated by Kunstnernes Hus in collaboration with Mari Lending, Mari Hvattum, and master students from AHO.

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