Public Program

Book Presentation: On Appropriation and Translation—Martin Rein-Cano, Barbara Steiner, Jun Yang

8, Oct, 2016 (Sat) 18:00

The Parallax Hanok

Book Presentation: On Appropriation and Translation—Martin Rein-Cano, Barbara Steiner, Jun Yang

On appropriation and translation
A presentation on the occasion of the book release Creative Infidelities: On the Landscape Architecture of Topotek 1 (jovis Berlin) – with Martin Rein-Cano (Topotek1), Barbara Steiner (editor) and Jun Yang (artist, The Parallax Hanok)

On the occasion of the book release Creative Infidelities: On the Landscape Architecture of Topotek 1, published by JOVIS-Verlag Berlin, and the 20th anniversary of Topotek 1, a series of presentations in special spatial settings will take place in various locations including among others Berlin, Seoul, Leipzig and Graz. Besides film screenings, special topics will be set up and discussed by Topotek 1 and its partners. The series is curated by Barbara Steiner in collaboration with Studio Koch in Copenhagen.

*The title “Creative Infidelities” makes reference to Jorge Louis Borges, whose observations on translation and interpretation have had a significant influence on Topotek 1’s approach.

The book: Creative Infidelities: On the Landscape Architecture of Topotek 1
The book introduces Topotek 1’s most important approaches and methods, and showcases significant projects and works in detail. Collaboration partners from the fields of architecture, art and design, private and public clients, planners, project managers and contractors consider the joint undertakings from different angles. This not only allows readers to picture complex realities in the field of landscape architecture, but also to view processes of collaboration. Particular emphasis is placed on the relation between single performance and cooperation, and the crossing of disciplinary and cultural borders.

On appropriation and translation
The focus of the presentation at The Parallax Hanok(Art Sonje Center)is on processes of appropriation and translation. These have a special significance against the background of various ideals and quality concepts related to the idea of the original and the copy.

The special guest at this presentation is Jun Yang, who collaborated with Topotek 1 in a competition for Bauhausplatz in Munich at the beginning of 2016. Both parties – Yang and Topotek 1 – share an interest in creative processes of appropriation and interpretation that give the copy a value of its own, separate from that of the original. Both of them plead for a relationship between the original and the copy that is not hierarchical in nature; misuse and reinterpretation are valued as expressions of a creative process.

Against this background, The Parallax Hanok seems to be the ideal venue for the presentation. The café/bar of the Art Sonje Center was created by Jun Yang this August. A space that takes its name from the notion of ‘parallax’, which describes the displacement, difference and alteration of the apparent position of an object viewed from two different points. Yang took this concept to think about copies as different interpretations, as divergences, and the question of authenticity as the starting point for The Parallax Hanok.

The concept of translation and appropriation has always played an important role for Topotek 1. The office looks at both as an integral component of the garden concept already in the days of the English landscape garden. “Chinese” pagodas and “Greek” temples are basically copies and interpretations, and sometimes the result of misunderstood translations. In this way, during the course of time, new (hybrid) identities evolved. Topotek 1 takes this approach further, adding contemporary practices of “remixing“. This is an activity that uses existing material – sometimes reforming it – and transports it to new constellations and contexts: in short, it interprets and translates. Against the background of increasing migration flows and global interdependence, the office understands practices of landscape architecture and techniques of remixing as models for dealing with growing dynamics in the relationship between “foreign” and “local” identities. For Topotek 1, this can provide impulses for the creation of new ways of living together in the future.

Topotek 1 was founded in 1996 by Martin Rein-Cano and Lorenz Dexler; Francesca Venier joined the management team in 2014.  The office sees itself as moving within the borders of various genres, typologies and scales. Topotek 1 designs open urban spaces and processes themes of urban development, but also makes excursions into the conception and realisation of exhibitions and art installations. The work of Topotek 1 has been awarded a large number of prizes, including the German Urban Development Prize and the German Architecture Prize, and more recently the reddot Design Award Best of the Best, the IOC / IAKS Architecture Prize and the Honor of National AIA Awards of the American Institute of Architects

Dr. Barbara Steiner is a curator, author and editor. Since 2015, she has been a visiting professor at the Cultures of the Curatorial study programme at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.  Since March 2016 she is the director of the Kunsthaus Graz in July. As well as artist, she has published a series of thematic books on the museum, space concepts, the relationship between architecture, design, art, the relationship between the private and the public sphere, and on art and economy, i.e. Spaces of Negotiation (with as-if wienberlin), 2010; The Captured Museum, 2011; Scenarios about Europe, 2012; The Europen-Book, 2013, and Superkilen (with BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek 1 and Superflex). Most recently she has been the editor of Jun Yang’s The Monograph Project, 2015. Steiner studied art history at the University of Vienna. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the ideology of the white cube.

Jun Yang was born in 1975 in Qingtian, Zhejiang (People’s Republic of China). His works include film installations, performances and projects in the public space. Yang is a co-founder of the Taipei Contemporary Art Center. With his brother Tie Yang and a friend, Dong Ngo, he opened the restaurant and bar ra’mien in Vienna in 2002, and the fast-food chain ra’mien go in 2012. For the Art Sonje Center, he has created The Parallax Hanok. He lives in Taipei, Vienna and Yokohama.

8, Oct, 2016 (Sat) 18:00
The Parallax Hanok
Barbara Steiner, Jun Yang, Martin Rein-Cano
Organized by
Art Sonje Center
Sponsored by
Admission fee

* The speakers will speak in English. No translation provided.