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670kg of Concrete


artist | Teresa Braula Reis

2014

Installation

Concrete and video installation.

Dimensions variable.

'670kg of Concrete' was inspired in a series of reflections about the material concrete which are explored in the book Concrete and Culture by Adrian Forty, historian of architecture and professor at The Barlett ... Read more
Concrete and video installation.

Dimensions variable.

'670kg of Concrete' was inspired in a series of reflections about the material concrete which are explored in the book Concrete and Culture by Adrian Forty, historian of architecture and professor at The Barlett School of Architecture.

The book analyses concrete, the most emblematic material of modernity, in its relation with modern culture, specifically with architecture, and explores its influence in how we perceive 'nature', 'time' and 'materiality'.

In Forty's words: ‘Concrete is a material that has done many things for us. It has allowed us to overcome nature, it holds back the sea, it has joined continents together and so it transforms the world we live in. […] and as such it is both celebrated and reviled. It may be that it overcomes nature but it also cuts us off from nature. It brings us closer together but it also drives us further apart. This is the paradox around concrete.’ (Adrian Forty, Concrete and Culture)

Six concrete columns in self decomposition spread around space in relation to a projection of videos which demonstrates a series of explosions in quarries for aggregate extraction and another series of videos showing buildings being constructed with concrete slabs.

A column is a civil engineering element which supports the building and in this installation the columns crack and eventually crumble over a period of time of approximately four hours, due to a product that is poured onto them.

The installation reflects a series of paradoxes behind this material: its association with the future in opposition to its connections to historical and cultural issues of memory and past; its resistance and capacity to overcome nature despite its vulnerability and inevitable degradation and/or demolition which represents its return to this same nature; its association with ideals of permanence and durability in contrast with its factual and inherent temporality.

'670kg of Concrete' explores the relation between concrete's physical weight and the conceptual weight it transports within itself. Read less

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