In WELCOME (TO THE TEKNIVAL) Kasper Akhøj examines the process of restoration which is currently taking place at Eileen Gray’s Villa E.1027 in Roquebrune, Cap Martin. Taking as a starting point the series of images that Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici (her collaborator on the house) published for the first time in 1929 in a special issue of the architectural journal L’Architecture Vivante, Akhøj has produced a series of 31 photographs that re-position these first images in time.
The classical approach to restoring a historical monument is to bring it back to it’s original state. In this case, however, the final version of the house will also contain five of the nine murals that Le Corbusier painted, without the permission of Eileen Gray, on the walls of the villa in the late 1930’s. These murals play an important role as reference to the convoluted history of this site, and without their presence the house might not still exist.
If one thinks of photography as a method of holding back time, photography might be quite close to that of restoring a house. Both are about fixing an image of sorts and both are about a certain connection with the past. As Akhøj puts it “It was this ongoing process of trying to fix the past that I became interested in capturing and documenting. A journey back in time, revealing and holding on to some of the more complicated layers of history that are also being erased as part of this undertaking. It is about making time stand still, and then again, it is as if time is moving in all different kinds of directions with this project.”
Kasper Akhøj’s series of photographs are also subject of a forthcoming book published by the artist and Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels. In line with the ongoing nature of this project, the book is being published in stages, one chapter for each visit to the house, eventually to be assembled in a single volume once restoration of the villa is completed.
Kasper Akhøj (Copenhagen 1976) studied at Städelschule Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt and at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He was a studio fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2009 and an Artist in Residence at the 29th São Paulo Biennial 2010. Recent exhibition venues include Ludlow 38 in New York, the 28th São Paulo Biennial, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Overgaden in Copenhagen. At present Kasper Akhøj is an Artist in Residence at Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center in Istanbul, and his solo exhibition “After the Fair” is currently showing at Wiels Contemporary Art Center in Brussels.
The exhibition at Dolores has been made possible with support from the Danish Arts Council.
Opening at EdB/Dolores: Sat. 27th November 17 – 19 hrs
Exhibition period: 27/11 – 2/1
Curator for Dolores: Karin Hasselberg