On March 25th, 2014, Takashi Horisaki and Nina Horisaki-Christens will begin work on Metabolic Morphology as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.
Inspired by Soho’s signature architectural form – the cast iron building – the main component of Metabolic Morphology will take the form of a semi-modular installation of cast colored latex and vacuum-formed plastic elements that will be rearranged and expanded upon over the course of the project. These forms will derive their basic aesthetics from casts of sections of actual buildings in Soho, including Recess’s own space, which will then be draped, stretched, and otherwise manipulated over plastic and wire structures. The modular components will then be suspended in arrangements that, when altered, trigger sound recordings detailing the histories of the neighborhood by its inhabitants, tying together the physical and narrative records of this urban space.
Metabolic Morphology takes as its conceptual basis both an awareness of the complex nature of urban development in Tokyo and New York, and the specific history of the Soho neighborhood, where ideas of modular architectural components seem particularly apt given the trajectory that cast-iron buildings set for architecture. Allowing the entire facade of a structure to be cast quickly and at lower cost than ornamental stone constructions, cast iron paved the way for more radical forms of pre-fabricated and modular architectures in the decades that followed. At the same time, this Soho was also intimately associated with evolving concepts of modernism through its artistic inhabitants, including prominent minimalist artists, whose work speaks to such modernist component-based aesthetics, taking them to their universalizing extreme, and Fluxus artists who sought a more open ended collaborative aesthetic. Drawing from these local histories, the artists seek to explore an urban aesthetic that melds modernist simplification with the heterogeneity of reality, hybridizing simple interchangeable geometries with unique ornamental details in an organic fashion.
Ultimately Horisaki and Horisaki-Christens would like to acknowledge the physicality of our urban environment, recognizing the tension it contains in balancing history with the drive toward technological innovation, and organizational structure with the uncoordinated forces of development.