Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber, Border #0 (1998)
Border # 0 shows more than just the anonymity of the modern inheritance at the end of the twentieth century; the film also shows the escape routes that an inhabitant of the apartmentbuilding uses to get out of this monotone reality. The dish antenna is the digital version of the door in Alice in Wonderland.
In June 1928, twenty-two leading architects attended the founding congress of the CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne). The participants, which included Le Corbusier, Gropius, Berlage and Rietveld, advocated good and affordable housing for everyone, built using standardised methods and modern techniques. This new housing, so these architects believed, would have a positive effect on its inhabitants and contribute to the development of society. It is clear that the congresses and publications of CIAM had a great influence on the development of architecture and town planning in the twentieth century. Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber cast doubts on the results of the modernist debate. Have the utopian models of the CIAM, as applied in cities the world over, yielded a pleasant living environment? What is the influence of this architecture on the people who live there?
There are several works by Bitter & Weber in the exhibition. In addition to the video Border ≠ 0 (1998) from The Almere Collection, the artists are showing several works from their project Caracas, Hecho en Venezuela (2005). Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, has 5 million inhabitants of different social classes, each with a distinctive lifestyle that is reflected in the architecture of their homes. The modernist-trained architect Carlos Raul Villanueva designed a large part of the social housing in Caracas.
In photographs and videos, the artists show how the ideals of modernist architecture and urban development have been modified by social and economic changes. In the process, these images illustrate how the inhabitants of these utopias have appropriated them and moulded them to suit their needs.
Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber, Border ≠ 0
Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber—b. 1960—Aigen—Austria—
b. 1957—Dorf / Pram—Austria