VI PER Gallery announces winner of an International Open Call for 2018
In Fall 2017, VI PER Gallery launched an International Open Call for Exhibition Projects, in search of an original proposal for an exhibition at the end of 2018. We have received 71 applications from which the jury consisting of Katarina Burin, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Monika Mitášová, Jana Pavlová, Jack Self, Léa-Catherine Szacka and VI PER Gallery team have selected the following winning project:
Cosmo-Clinical Interiors of Beirut by f-architecture (feminist architecture collaborative – Gabrielle Printz, Virginia Black and Rosana Elkhatib)
Their proposal maps the virginity simulation industry in Lebanese capital and deals with the theme of hymenoplastic medical practice seen through the lens of architecture. It stands as a reflection on the contemporary design of sexualized and gendered spaces and the culture, economy and politics of bodies bound to them.
“Virginity remains consequential to the agency, empowerment, and self-possession of women around the world. The concept of virginity is constructed not just at the site of the body, but also in multiscalar architectural operations, in the spaces that mediate between subjects and their desires. The clinic is a site of bodily reinvention and also production. Interior finishes, collateral objects, and aesthetic protocols aid in the spatial and cultural production of contemporary virginity and sexuality, available in new commodity forms. Beirut in particular – the Middle East and North Africa region capital for medical tourism, Arab soap-star beauty, and lingering gender and sexual norms – is a site whose bodily indulgences and corrections converge in the plastic surgery clinic. This virtual and physical exhibition mines the collateral interior spaces and urban appearances of hymenoplastic architecture observed in Beirut but globally felt.”
The jury recognises the originality and ambition of the project and its potential based on strong theoretical insight employing the practices of current architectural discourse, defined methodology and a well-conceived research process executed in the multilayered form of the exhibition. The concept of “commodified virginity” is critically presented as a complex cultural, ethical and economical phenomenon based on the current condition of neoliberalism. A highly engaging and timely proposal investigates the subject of architecture and design as an evidence of sexual and gender control within abstract registers of local and global cultural and socio-political context. The jury highlights the capacity of this proposal to produce new knowledge and is confident that this project will make a significant contribution to the debate across many disciplines.
The jury acknowledges that a number of applications and the diversity of their research practices received in this open call displayed a high standard of originality and urgency considering present as well as historical topics, methods and positions.
One of the project ranked among the final selection by the jury was the proposal entitled 200 000 m2 village by the team of young Czech architects Tadeáš Říha, Kateřina Frejlachová and Martin Špičák exploring logistic centres in the Czech Republic as architectural projects which “form one of the few architectural representations of the supranational corporations as both economically and territorially powerful agents of today’s society.” Timely and important topic not only in the Czech context, but valid in most countries around the world, brings yet another perspective to current debate, and thus this project has received a Special mention by the VI PER Gallery and the jury, and was also suggested to be realized as an exhibition.
Among 71 applications, 30 of them were submitted by individuals, 41 by groups of 2 or more.
Thank you again all for submitting your very interesting, original and creative proposals!