DESIGN CONCEPT: A LANDSCAPE OF COLUMNS
The design of the exhibition is respecting the design elements and the layout of the material as designed for the original Tygrysy exhibition held in Warsaw (prepared by ZAIKS), there has been the requirement for the exhibition in Skopje to be a flexible, re-useable, travelling exhibition.
The design of the temporary exhibition structure for the TYGRYSY Exhibition at the NI Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, takes as its starting point one of the key elements of the museum itself – the column. The museum itself proudly expresses its structural elements – with one part of the museum expressed as a raised square volume resting on a series of columns. The spatial elements of the temporary TYGRYSY exhibition therefore takes the form of an inner ‘landscape’ of temporary columns, which both defines an independent spatial installation within the museum space, and provides sufficient ‘wall space’ for the required exhibition material.
Until recently, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje had a space for the permanent collection and a separate space for temporary exhibitions. Since the restoration and installation of an enlarged permanent exhibition, there is no longer a dedicated space for temporary exhibitions; hence the only space that has been made available for the TYGRYS exhibition is within the entrance hall itself. This is a complicated and ‘busy’ space, encompassing a reception area, bookstore, wardrobe area, bar area and toilets, as well as various circulation routes (entrances to the two main parts of the museum and a staircase leading to the upper, administration area).
NIZ TEKSTOT SLIKI I CRTEZI NA ARHITEKTONSKIOT DEL
In addition, this space is further complicated by a lack of walls that could be used for temporary exhibitions: two walls are made of travertine slabs and could not be used or obstructed in any way, while the bookstore walls are made of glass. Finally, one of the only two usable ‘white’ walls is currently occupied with a large text, an introduction to the newly installed and expanded permanent collection of the museum. Likewise, the ceiling could not be used for hanging temporary wall panels, or similar elevated elements, within the space, and the marble floor tiles could not be damaged either.
Designing an exhibition within these circumstances and conditions has required an alternative and innovative approach to the installation of the temporary TYGRYSY exhibition. Our response has been to create an installation, an independent spatial area within the entrance hall, defined by the series of twelve columns (3 rows of 4 columns, each measuring 0.6 x 0.6 x 3m) comprised of 18mm thick plywood with printed material, and 4 lower pedestal/columns (for additional materials, such as models, original documents,etc). In a sense, this ‘Forest of Columns’ ignores the distractions of the surrounding elements, focusing the visitors’ attention on the central area and the display on the ‘new’ columns, with its exhibition material.
The column element also serves to identify and organize the various architectural projects represented within the exhibition, while the verticality of the columns provides an intriguing and innovative approach to displaying the combination of texts, images and drawings that comprise the exhibition material itself. The columns are full height so that they appear to be part of the original building itself.
The arrangement of columns and projects is divided into two parts. The first group of columns shows eight projects by the Tygrys architects, including two competition-winning projects and six realized projects. The second group (the final row of four columns) shows in detail the project for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, which, for this occasion has been significantly expanded beyond what was originally exhibited in the Warsaw exhibition of the Tygrys’ work. This includes documentation of the establishment and construction of the museum itself, with documents from the museum’s archive as well as from the Archive of the City of Skopje. The row of four low pedestal / columns, separates the two parts of the exhibition, clearly identifying the material which was part of the original Warsaw exhibition and the additional material as prepared for the expanded version for the Skopje exhibition.
It has unfortunately not been possible to locate the original drawings, or copies, of the building designs made by the Tigers, apart from a single sectional drawing, which has been included in the exhibition itself.
MATERIALITY AND REALISATION
The field of twelve columns that comprise the exhibition, are realized out of three-part plywood panels on a timber construction, built as stackable objects. The plywood facing has been selected as it provides a clean, smooth timber veneer surface, onto which the various exhibition material is either directly printed or mounted. The texts, photographs and selected drawings are printed directly onto the wooden panels (avoiding the need for any additional application of paper onto the wood) and digital prints for the architectural drawings, printed onto sheets of transparent paper, and placed between two sheets of glass in timber frames (enabling the texture of the timber panels to remain visible behind the drawings).
In most cases, each column has been assigned for the documentation of a single architectural project, onto which the drawings, texts and photographs of each project has been applied following a certain system, thereby establishing a pattern for navigating through the space, and for viewing and ‘reading’ the complex exhibition material. The three vertical levels of the four sides of the columns have been used to exhibit the varied exhibition material in a structured manner, establishing the following principle for the design layout: the middle section comprises the texts (and finer architectural drawings), the upper parts comprise the project titles, large photographic images and / or quotes (in a large font size); the lower sections comprise further photographic images and/or larger architectural drawings. The framed architectural drawings, (all at the same scale) include selected fragments of the architectural drawings, giving the exhibition material an additional sense of refinement.
This design principle enables a different reading of the projects exhibited as one walks around the columns and through the columned space of the installation, as well as creating a strong visual/graphic effect and identity for the exhibition itself within the ‘crowded’ space of the museum entrance hall. In this way the installation, as a whole, assumes a visually abstract and independent quality – without compromising the visitors’ ability to view and comprehend the exhibited material.
FLEXIBILITY AND FUTURE LIFE OF THE EXHIBITION
The field of stackable, three-part columns comprising plywood panels on a timber construction, enables the exhibition to come apart and be transported without difficulty, and provides flexibility for storage purposes, as well as flexibility and simplicity of installation in future exhibitions. The exhibition design also enables the material to be re-exhibited in parts, according to the available space, needs and context of future exhibitions.
The plywood panels can remain on the timber boxes as stackable elements, or be separated and displayed in a different manner, directly on wall surfaces (where available) – in the manner of a more classical exhibition. The inner columned structures can be further as plinths for new material, enabling a variety of arrangements and uses. It would be ideal to produce a series of storage and transportation boxes to enable such flexibility and ease of transportation. However, it has not been possible to produce these timber boxes within the budget available for the exhibition, so additional funds would be required for their production, if required.
CATALOUGUE / EXHIBITION
The expanded version of the Exhibition at the NI Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, included the preparation and production of a sizeable catalogue, which was non-existent for the original exhibition held in Warsaw prepared by ZAIKS. Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The full cost for the production of the catalogue was provided from the Polish Embassy in Skopje.
The preparation of the catalogue ran in parallel with the research process regarding the additional material to be included in the Skopje exhibition – research (led by Kinga Nettman-Multanowska) for material essential to include in both the catalogue and the exhibition. Expanded Material beyond Zaiks prepared material finalized in 82 printed pages for the ‘Warsaw’ Material (prepared from ZAIKS) and 124 printed pages about NI MoCA.
Poednostavi go sledniot paragraph:
The catalogue was produced in 500 copies, 204 pages, 2 colours in dimension 230x220mm, printed on 220gsm and 100gsm Bristol paper, giving ‘ecological’/matt feel to the project.
RELEVANCE OF THE EXHIBITION IN RELATION TO SIA’S INTERESTS SIA was involved in the design and production of the exhibition and the accompanying book. We were pleased to be involved in this project as we believe it is vital to revisit and reassess modernism in Skopje – and the NI MoCA, as one of the finest examples of Modernist architecture in the city; ‘revisiting modernism’ is one of our main interests and goals.
SIA organized several parallel activities and platforms, where the exhibition ‘The Warsaw Tigers, The Power of the Team’, plays a crucial role.