Student Exhibition Explores 'Collision' of Art and Architecture [Video]
February 17, 2014
What happens when the precision of architecture collides with the creative freedom of studio art? This question came into focus at a student exhibition recently mounted in the gallery at Johnson Memorial Building. The works were created in Prof. Jim Butler's sculptural architecture class, and Butler says the assignment — to build a house for a wall — was designed to cause some confusion among students. "They have to grapple with what I call an essential conundrum," Butler said, "something which is essentially contradictory."
The idea was for students to design a small "house" to be installed on a real wall somewhere on campus. After fabricating their quarter-scale houses, primarily from wood, students photographed the sculptures at the campus location they had chosen. The resulting photos were then printed in large format and paired with the sculptures for the exhibition.
The creative variation is striking, with structures of all shapes, colors and textures matched up, in print, with familiar campus settings. "Everyone always surprises me," said Butler. "Even though the project starts out with very precise constraints, descriptions and so on, the various directions that each individual student approaches it with, from one project to the next, one would wonder if it might even be the same class!"