CaixaForum Madrid

Caixa Forum I56A0116
Caixa Selfie I56A0116

Caixa Forum Madrid

Recently I was in Madrid. I visited the CaixaForum Museum of modern art: An old power station renovated by the Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron in 200-2001, shortly after they renovated the Tate London, also a decommissioned power station.

I could crop a selfie from the first photo.

What’s a bit annoying is that the CaixaForum Madrid doesn’t have its own web presence. It is part of the big Caixa Foundation. Caixa is a large Spanish bank. You can find a bit on the Foundations Website, but it’s not much.

This is what the architects say about the impressive buuilding:

A spectacular transformation
The only material of the old power station that we could use was the classified brick shell. In order to conceive and insert the new architectural components of the CaixaForum, we began with a surgical operation, separating and removing the base and the parts of the building no longer needed. This opened a completely novel and spectacular perspective that simultaneously solved a number of problems posed by the site. The removal of the base of the building left a covered plaza under the brick shell, which now appears to float above the street level. This sheltered space under the CaixaForum offers shade to visitors who want to spend time or meet outside, and at the same time, it is the entrance to the Forum itself. Problems such as the narrowness of the surrounding streets, the placement of the main entrance, and the architectural identity of this contemporary art institution are addressed and solved in a single urban and sculptural gesture.

Building Data:
Site Area: building site: 1,934sqm / 20,817sqft; plaza: 650sqm / 6,996sqft
Building Footprint: 1,400sqm /15,069sqft
Building Dimensions: Length 44m / 144ft; Width 37m / 121ft; Height 28m / 92ft
Gross Floor Area: 11,000sqm/ 118,404sqft

Happy Birthday John Cage

Happy Birthday John Cage from HappyHotelier on Vimeo.

This year the 100th Birthday of a famous American composer, John Cage, will be celebrated.

This Birthday cake installation for John Cage I found in an exhibition in the Museumsquartier of Vienna that I visited quite unexpectedly earlier this week. I made a small piece of video so that you get a feel of why all small loudspeakers were used to decorate the cake.

Featuring more than hundred different works, “MEMBRA DISJECTA FOR JOHN CAGE: Wanting to Say Something About John” is an homage to John Cage, whose hundred birthday is being celebrated around the world in 2012. The Latin term “membra disjecta” in the exhibition title indicates John Cage’s method of working with a scattering of elements from various sources. The subtitle refers to a multiple that John Cage created in Marcel Duchamp’s honor after his death: “Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel.”

If you happen to be in Vienna shortly a must visit exhibition!

Below is a trailer for an memorial of John Cage in The Hague on March 10, 2012:

Jaap van Zweden Musical America’s Conductor of the Year 2012

The Hague must be proud of its former Residentie Orchestra conductor Jaap van Zweden:

DALLAS, TX (Nov. 3, 2011) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) proudly announced today that the prestigious Musical America has named DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden its Conductor of the Year Award 2012. He has been awarded this honor for his critically acclaimed work with the DSO and for the excellence of his music-making, both in Dallas and as guest conductor with some of the nation’s most prestigious orchestras.

Having joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as concertmaster at age 19, van Zweden spent the next sixteen years inspired and mentored by Solti, Haitink, Giulini, Harnoncourt and Bernstein. With Berstein’s encouragement, the Juilliard-trained violinist began studying conducting in the Netherlands and performed as violinist and conductor with several orchestras between 1994 and 1997. In 1997, van Zweden made his decision to conduct full time, played his last concert as a violinist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and was named the chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 2003. In 2000, he added the music directorship of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague to his credits, a post he held until 2005.

Originally from the Netherlands, van Zweden entered The Juilliard School in New York at age 16, as a student of Dorothy DeLay. Van Zweden is very committed to bringing awareness and acceptance to the cause of autism.

Via a tweet from the US Embassy in The Netherlands and the blog of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Flipflop Project by Florentijn Hofman (Dutch Design 59)

Fat Monkey by Florentijn Hofman
Fat Monkey by Florentijn Hofman 2
Fat Monkey by Florentijn Hofman 3
I discovered the site of Florentijn Hofman, a Dutch designer specializing in great outdoor installations. This Fat Monkey was created out of flipflops at the occasion of the Sao Paulo Pixel Show. Would you believe the ordinary flipflop could be the source (pixel) of such installation?

L.O.V.E. Maurizio Cattelan’s Finger (Street Art 18)

Via Designboom I came across Maurizio Cattelan’s finger which is on display in front of the Italian Stock Exchange in Milan. Maurizio is know for his tongue in cheek sometimes controversial art installations. The big question here is whether it is the vox populi against the bankers or the bankers against the people…Notice the two status symbols parked there, the Mini and the Fiat 500 retro editions.

The statue was created especially for and donated to Milan, but immediately refused by the city’s administrators.

‘We want to be confirmed as the capital of contemporary art’, the city’s administrators officially stated, ‘and we have to not only mediate but also accept what we do not like’.

Therefor it is only on display during the 10 days of Milan’s fashion week….

Interview Magazine has an insightful interview with the artist provocateur as the Italian Media have coined him.