Exhibitions (July 01, 2005)

Douglas Coupland’s Super City at the CCA. Until November 20, this installation by Canadian writer and artist Douglas Coupland of Generation X fame reflects on the impact of building toys, and the power they have to shape children’s perceptions of the built world–and thus to influence the artifacts they produce as adults. Inspired by the 1960s toy kit Super City, Coupland has devised for the Canadian Centre for Architecture an imaginary “future city” densely layered with elements of his own universe. Illustrating his theory that building toys have the power to feed themselves back into the real world of objects and ideas, Coupland’s Super City installation invokes an imaginary urbanscape by deftly combining scale models of high-rise buildings, monuments, and infrastructural elements with an assortment of parts from the various building kits in his personal collection. Toronto’s monumental CN Tower (1976), segments of the U.S. interstate highway system, typical American water towers, and most infamously, the World Trade Center towers by Yamasaki (1966-77) destroyed on 11 September 2001, are all integrated with parts from the Super City, Tinkertoy, Jumbo Lego, Meccano, Tog’L, and Matador kits. Occupying a space 12 * 12 * 12, the assemblage of shapes and objects is uniformly painted white, echoing Coupland’s recollection that as a child, he perceived “everything in the Lego universe as perfect and crisp and anti-death…Lego was the future. White. Clean. Plastic.”

Jean Nouvel–Louisiana Manifesto. This exhibition continues until September 18 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Curated by the architect himself, the exhibition has been conceived as a manifesto of Nouvel’s thoughts and ideas about architecture, and wishes to challenge our sensory response to and understanding of his way of experiencing architecture. For more information, please visit www.louisiana.dk