Foam Rubber Avant-Garde

Luis Fernández-Galiano   /  Source:  El País

With the exhibition and book Content, Rem Koolhaas strikes again. The provocative Dutch architect sums up the past seven years of his career with a show in Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie that scatters 300 objects and models in the interior of Mies van der Rohe’s monumental temple, and a fanzine-sized book whose 544 pages mix projects and politics in a toxic and hypnotic cocktail. Evoking the casual mess of a street market and the confusing agglomeration of a school warehouse, the exhibition presents some fifty projects through a wealth of documents and work materials. These are muddled up with categorical geopolitical and socioeconomic diagnoses formulated through vertiginous typographies and illustrated with a profusion of diagrams, maps, statistics, and press clippings. The book, in turn, which is not exactly a catalog of the exhibition but a motley accumulation of images and texts on design and trends in a globalized world, uses Koolhaas’s projects to traverse the planet, all the way from San Francisco to Tokyo, following an eastward route that endeavors to reflect the architect’s intellectual movement from a disappointing America to a resistant Europe and an Asia on the rise...

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