Tag Archives: Klaus Biesenbach

MoMA PS1 selects architect winner for 2014 Warm Up summer music series


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of The Living

Summer might still be far away, but things are starting to heat up as a winner has been chosen to create the scenery for this year’s Warm Up series at MoMA PS1.

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in Long Island City selected David Benjamin from design firm The Living as the winner of the 15th annual Young Architects Program (YAP).

The winning project, called “Hy-Fi,” expected to open at MoMA PS1 in late June, was chosen from five finalists and will serve as a “temporary urban landscape” for the 2014 Warm Up summer music series, located in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.

“After dedicating the whole building and satellite programs of MoMA PS1 to ecological awareness and climate change last year with ‘EXPO 1: New York,’ we continue in 2014 with ‘Hy-Fi,’ a nearly zero carbon footprint construction by The Living,” said Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 director and MoMA chief curator at large.

Every year the winners develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that would provide shade, seating and water to those who attend Warm Up. The architects also have to address environmental issues, such as sustainability and recycling.

The Living will create “Hy-Fi” using a new technique of bio-design that will assemble a structure made out of 100 percent organic material.

The structure is a circular tower made of organic and reflective bricks, produced from the combination of corn stalks and living root structures, invented by Ecovative, a company The Living is working with in the project.

“Hy-Fi” will also highlight local materials, and offer a direct relationship to New York State agriculture and innovation culture, city artists, nonprofits and community gardens in Queens.

“At MoMA PS1, The Living’s project will be showcased as a sensuous, primeval background for the Warm-Up sessions; the ideas and research behind it, however, will live on to fulfill ever new uses and purposes,” said Pedro Gadanho, curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.

 

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Citywide initiative to help cultural nonprofits, art funding


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/PHOTO BY ALEXA ALTMAN

The infamous moniker of “one percent” gained an innovative, positive meaning among the arts community.

At MoMA PS1 on Tuesday, January 8, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced his support for the One Percent for Culture campaign, a citywide initiative aimed at increasing funding towards art institutions and impressing upon the city the value of cultural nonprofits. The coalition, containing 245 members thus far, seeks to ensure that nonprofit cultural establishments, responsible for assisting the city to generate billions in annual revenue, are granted one percent of the city’s annual budget.

Currently, arts and culture organizations receive a quarter of one percent of the city’s yearly budget.

“We know that that number and the billions in revenue that get spun off because of that could not happen without culture and the arts,” said Van Bramer. “The economy of the city of New York could not stand without culture and the arts. It simply could not.”

Arts and culture bring in $7.6 billion for the city of New York every year and provide jobs for roughly 100,000 New Yorkers. According to Van Bramer, the tourism boom, recently announced by Mayor Bloomberg, is in thanks to art institutions that entice visitors from all over the world, adding that culture and the arts is one of the few areas of the city budget that generates revenue.

Cultural leaders from across the city joined Van Bramer to announce the initiative and speak on its behalf, including Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 and Eric Pryor, executive director of the Center for Arts Education. Charles Rice-Gonzalez, executive director of Bronx Academy for Arts & Dance (BAAD!) said increased funding for arts organizations creates a symbiotic relationship between culture and community, which serve to nourish and inspire each other.

“One Percent for Culture is about giving this vital segment, the arts of our city, a chance to come up to speed with the rest of the industry,” said Rice-Gonzalez. “We have managed to make a great impact with modest amounts. Imagine what could be done if one percent of the city’s budget is given to culture?”

Sheila Lewandowski, executive director of Long Island City playhouse The Chocolate Factory, said that with extra funding, she could afford to increase wages for the 100 artists on her payroll, purchase better equipment and decrease ticket prices.

“If we don’t value [art], we might lose it,” said Lewandowski. “One Percent for Culture is very valuable to my organization, a small very experimental organization, because it says we’re valuable. It’s the city saying ‘we see what you give back to the economy, to the quality of life, to everything.”

While Van Bramer called the announcement “a very exciting time,” the councilmember added that it was imperative to secure “the expense funding to follow the capital funding.”

“We have to be aggressive as a community. We have to know our value to the city of New York and make sure others know it too. Not everyone knows that we are keeping the city running. No one should ever doubt the power of art and the power of artists.”

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‘Framing’ an Institution


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

MoMA PS1 has a brand new “frame.”

Congregated in the brand new entryway at MoMA PS1, members of the art community and local officials came to celebrate the unveiling of the very vestibule in which they stood.

The new entrance “kiosk,” located on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, is approximately 140-square-feet of artfully-designed concrete — its walls adorned with quarter-sized portholes, allowing the sun to stream through.

“[This entryway] has been long anticipated and long in the making,” said Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1, who added that the extension of a new doorway will contribute to the re-mapping of New York City by bringing creative neighborhoods together.

Agnes Gund, Chairman of the Board at MoMA PS1, was enthusiastic about the wonderful influences incited from collaborations between the museum and various groups around Queens.

“It’s hard to do a structure like this, make it interesting but keep with the structure of the building,” said Gund.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer also spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, thanking Biesenbach for his endless, grand ideas and steadfast dedication to improving the establishment.

“This project is so important because it contributes to the neighborhood,” said Van Bramer. “I’m really glad this is happening here, at this institution, at PS1.”

Van Bramer also hinted at the possibility of a High-Line-type park, to be built above the facility sometime in the future.

Terri Osborne offered a few words on behalf of Borough President Helen Marshall, expressing the BP’s happiness in having the privilege of spending tax payer dollars on an organization such as MoMA PS1 that will benefit not only the Long Island City neighborhood, but all of Queens.

Yvonne Force-Villareal came to the ceremony to support her husband, Leo Villareal, the artist commissioned to create the light structure surrounding the entryway.

“I’ve been coming to MoMA PS1 for decades,” said Force-Villareal. “For me, this structure formalizes it in a way. Even though it’s an entrance, it’s like a frame. It gives it the attention it deserves. It’s astounding.”