Installation projects that I have implemented over the last ten years formed the basis for how I thought I might approach my time in Rome for my residency as a 2016-17 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Specifically, I proposed to study the dormant spaces of Rome, with the idea of identifying in-between spaces that would serve as settings for site-specific installations. Within a few weeks of arriving Rome I began collaborating with fellow Rome Prize Fellow Yasmin Vobis and her partner Aaron Forrest on an installation for the annual Cinque Mostre exhibition.
The temporary installation, inspired by Robert Venturi’s “decorated shed” concept, surrounds the American Academy in Rome’s pre-fabricated security shed in a pop textile. The new two-story façade becomes a welcome beacon for the Academy’s annual ‘Cinque Mostre’ exhibition, as well as an experiment in spatial color combination, conferring an alternative view of the pre-fabricated structure and of the Academy’s imposing street presence. The design pairs a rotationally symmetrical structural frame with an ephemeral skin made of 11km of brightly colored acrylic cord. Taking apart the glowing orange tones of the surrounding buildings into six discrete hues, the colors are organized into two planes on each façade, to atomize and create depth in the recombined color. The wood frame was designed using bolted connections so that it can be easily dismantled at the end of the exhibition, and reassembled for use as a template for architect’s and artist’s future installation proposals.
Installation projects such as these serve to allow for the testing of ideas and materials at an architectural scale in a very short period of time.