Past Exhibition

Art Sonje Space Project #2: Markus Miessen – Discursive Sauna

September 12, 2014 – April 01, 2015

The front entrance of Art Sonje Center

Art Sonje Space Project #2: Markus Miessen – Discursive Sauna

Commissioned by Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Studio Miessen’s project “Discursive Sauna” presents a site specific installation located in the car park right in front of the main entrance of Art Sonje, towards a well-frequented alley. This pavilion-scale work explores the relationship between institutional architecture and the way in which the question of scale can be addressed and can respond to what Miessen coins“Cultures of Assembly”.

The Discursive Sauna exists as a micro-site for informal assembly and everyday hangout while doubling as a more formal venue, which allows Art Sonje to temporarily scale down both physically and in terms of street presence in order to explore and foster an alternative scale and format of dialogue with the public.As such, the Discursive Sauna should be understood as a threshold-killer.

The scale of the Sauna particularly explores the notion of friction and unease when it comes to social settings. How do we talk to each other? How do we situate our bodies when entering a discursive setting? What are the socio-spatial protocols at stake here?

The artwork placed above the entrance door reads “WITTESLEARNINGANDSTUDIE” (Wittes, Learning and Studie) and presents a work by New York base artist Liam Gillick. The phrase originates from anearlier time in English, through which one can experience the influence of old German and French (hence the spelling of “study” as “studie”, for example). The work presents a means to express threeforms of intelligence: “Wittes” is like “wit” meaning one’s intuitive intelligence. “Learning” and “stud(ie/y)”are self-explanatory.

The architectural and textual works in tandem explore the potential of applied utopia.

Spatial Design by Studio Miessen, Berlin.
Artwork by Liam Gillick, New York.

Markus Miessen (1978) is an architect and writer. The initiator of the Participation tetralogy, his work revolves around questions of critical spatial practice, institution building, and spatial politics. His practice, Studio Miessen, is currently working on projects for and with EACC Castellon, Artsonje Seoul, Hamburger Kunstverein, Istanbul Biennale, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Bergen Assembly, Performa Biennial, Witte de With, Kosovo National Gallery, Weltkulturen Museum, and the artists Hito Steyerl and Denes Farkas. Their largest project to date is a strategic framework and new Kunsthalle building for a former NATO military site in Germany. In 2008, Miessen founded the Winter School Middle East (Kuwait). He used to be professor for Critical Spatial Practice at the Städelschule, Frankfurt, and is now professor-in-practice at HEAD, Geneva, as well as at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

+ Space Project

Art Sonje Center initiates its Space Project with an agenda to transform various corners of the museum through artistic interventions. This project explores not only the potential of architecture that would grant the museum’s public space a new identity, but the interrelationship between art and architecture. As its very first Space Project, Art Sonje Center invited Choon Choi to newly design the ground floor of the museum, under the project name Exit Strategy. Markus Miessen, a German architect, undertakes the second project and presents a temporary structure that connects the entrance of the museum with the streets.

September 12, 2014 - April 01, 2015
The front entrance of Art Sonje Center
Organized by
Art Sonje Center
Curated by
Supported by
Art Council Korea
Markus Miessen
Spatial Design
Studio Miessen