24.07.2020 Exhibition ‘Indian Summer and Thereafter’
Exhibition at Betts Project, London, 27 June — 25 July 2020
The AA of the 1970s and 1980s has been described as the Indian Summer of Hand Drawing. We did not know at the time that a digital eclipse was around the corner. Now some 40 years later some of us pencil holding dinosaurs are being visited by scholars of ancient technologies. This exhibition maps a few moments in the intervening years. It includes the last analog presentation by BOLLES+WILSON (the Wilhaminer Pier in Rotterdam) and two projects from the 1984 Bridgebuilding series – The Academia Bridge for Venice and the Paris Pont des Arts (produced at the time for Livre de Pierre).
Also in this production pan are drawn researches for the 2016 AA book ‘Some Reasons for Travelling to Italy ‘
The most recent works are objects not drawings, a selection from the 2019 Berlin exhibition titled ‘Small World Theory’. This was not an exhibition of the architecture of BOLLES+WILSON but as the exhibition blurb stated ….from the private reveries of PETER WILSON, objects or bi-products accidentally brought into being by the hand of the architect. They are ‘Counter-Factual Histories’ reflecting the field of production, technologies and cultural anomalies endemic to the early years of the 21stcentury. They conjure the relations of singularities to multiplicity, a soft empiricism that insists on the aesthetic and textural character of representation (but not representation as 2D simulations which today exist in such overwhelming superfluity – claiming and numbing our perception). These objects are monads in the sense of Leibniz or Benjamin, tiny cells (on average 2x15x15cm), small worlds, in total a taxonomy of scripted physical narratives.
The objects titles are significant (in English in Berlin to confound the natives) they owe a certain debt to Laurence Stern or Glen Baxter, e.g. ‘Continental Drift and What to do About it’. Others are more specifically referenced e.g. ‘Freaky Suit Malevich’, or pilfered directly from Joyce…’A bad attack of Maggot it feels Like’. While titles like ‘Psychological Disturbances of the Neanderthaler’ play on the lost in translation syndrome.
The Berlin exhibition title SMALL WORLD THEORY implied chains of correspondences, the wacky science of average path lengths for (social) networks, degrees of separation and the connecting of a maximum number of points. Random walks were, and are at Betts, expected.
Dr. h. c. Peter Wilson Münster, 2020