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Max Goldfarb
Lou Heldens
Ming-Dye Yan
Lebbeus Woods
Dolores Zinny & Juan Maidagan


April 10 - May 8, 1999

In conjunction with Shaping conflicts Inhabiting Urbanized Space
A multidisciplinary conference organized by CUNY Center for Cultural Studies
The Autonomedia collective & The Research Institute for Experimental Architecture

Exhibition organized by Josee Bienvenu, Mike Menser and Jordan Zinovich
Catalogue available

This exhibition attempts to explore and redefine the notion of incompleteness in its diverse modes. Completeness implies closure in time and space, function and form. With the incomplete something is obviously missing. What is incomplete may altogether lack a direction, end, goal or purpose. The incomplete is what is indeterminate or underdetermined. From the standpoint of security and surveillance, the obscure or imperceptible marks an incompleteness, a restriction of the gaze at the limit of what is visible. In the urban context, the structures and spaces that are unproductive or inefficient are proclaimed incomplete, dysfunctional, degraded. What is missing may be construed negatively as lack. In this exhibition, the notion of incompleteness is addressed positively as potential, as power and capacity The incomplete does not fix the possible. Rather, it grants the indeterminate a space.

Ming-Dye Yan's silkscreen prints are abstract landscapes of delicate articulations, smooth spaces and sharp jagged ridges. Lou Heldens invents an insignificant alphabet, a simulated language of indeterminate computer symbols publicly displayed for persons in transit. Three large ceramic and steel panels from his permanent installation at the Hortustunnel in Amsterdam are part of the exhibition, as well as an electronic billboard displaying random messages. These meaningless "news flashes" create a moment of meaninful disruption that generate pure communication.

Two series of architectural models by Lebbeus Woods are included in the show. The Horizon Houses, in collaboration with Paul Anvar, are defined through a folding of planes and trajectories. They are mobile structures for inhabiting shifting and unpredictable borderlands. For the Reconstructed Boxes, in collaboration with Dwayne Oyler, the starting point is a set of rectilinear boxes - pure forms, perfect and complete. Reconstruction operates here as geometrical invagination -boxes reconstructed from within. In each series, the models are not forms to be imitated or reproduced but places for an encounter, places to think. Dolores Zinny & Juan Maidagan also address the notion of incompleteness through the materiality of three dimensional structures The Flea (a game of arbitrary decisions) is a series of sculptural shapes made of white paper and cardboard cuttings.

The work presented in Max Goldfarb's videos is the extention of a drawing project that has evolved out of the studio to a performance arena: the street. Challenging conception of urban space and the peremptory codes of uniform by turning the visual language of public order against itself, Max Goldfarb uses an industrial line striping machine (which is commonly used for laying out parking lots and road demarcations) as a way of changing scale Road cones, barricades and other construction paphernalia are his props. The lines of order and of what is present are rewritten as he draws in the street (as well as on the gallery floor) the floor plans of buildings never built.