OMA/Progress Exhibition Now Open in London
Progress, a major exhibition of OMA's work and ideas, is now open at the Barbican in London. The show is curated not by OMA but by Rotor, a Belgian collective that has been occupying OMA's Rotterdam office for the past few months, gathering materials and intelligence on the office.
Foraging in the archive, and even in OMA’s wastepaper, Rotor has
selected hundreds of objects from the last 35 years that tell a fresh
and independent story of the office. Arranged by Rotor in loose, intuitive categories like 'and yet it moves', 'white or shiny', and 'adaptation', the exhibition includes: a video of over 3 million images – every image on OMA’s server – shown at a rate of 24 per second (the video plays on a 48-hour loop); a series of faxes between Rem Koolhaas and Arup figuring out the structure of CCTV; a seat from Milstein Hall, Cornell, that emerges mechanically from the floor at the touch of a button; a ‘fake’ AMO exhibition, assembled from an instant-exhibition kit we made but have never used; constantly updated images from four OMA building sites around the world; a room of only white and shiny objects.
An ambition that Rotor inherited from OMA is the opening of Barbican Art Gallery's west entrance for the first time, realising the original architects' intent. Puncturing the solidity of the Barbican has serious ramifications for the exhibition itself: a former dead end is now a thoroughfare from the Barbican Estate through the Gallery.