Curated by Alexander Ponomarev and Olilga Milentiy, the Ukraine Pavilion at the 2012 Architecture Biennale presents mobile museums projects under the concept of “Mirage Architecture”. The exhibition focuses on a conceptual design for a Museum of Contemporary Arts in the Antarctic.
Forgive the pictures, they are my own quick snaps.
Floating Personal Art Museum
A movile self-propelled or towed floating architectural structure, the museum comprises five exhibition spaces and several technique rooms. Two halls are underwater and the other three are submobiles capable of emersion and submersion Along the outside perimiter these structures are equipped with special devices that are, respectively, ice, steam, and water generators. On the water surface, these substances determine the visual and tactile characteristics of the museum.
The Contemporary Art Museum in the Antarctic
This mobile architectural structure is capable of floating on the water both horizontally and vertically (the research vessel principle has been used). Upon arrival in the Antarctic the structure is positioned vertically by moving ballast from the prow to the stern thanks so that the living quarters (superstructure) is above water and the exhibition zone (the museum) is underwater. Living in the hotel part amidst the icebergs, tourists and researchers will be able to see the unique underwater museum display using a special bathyscaph.
“In order to build new Utopia, there is no need to raze the world. There are still places on Earth with clean, free spaces, offering room for cooperation and co-creation. On of these places is the Antarctic”
The idea of the project ocurred to Alexander Ponomarev when he visited the Antarctic in the area of Ukraine’s Academician Vernadsky polar station, where he observed and made drawings of mirages and photographed them.
“Along with a science expedition, i visited the Ukrainian Academician Vernadsky’s research station in the Antarctic, where I took photographs and made videos of the remarkable optical phenomena known as mirages. Icebergs, the coastline, and other objects appeared on the sea horizon, transformed into different structures, and then disappeared”.
“Architects Alexei Kozyr and Ilya Babak repeatedly used the principle of disappearing shapes and transformable structures in their Architecture Projects. Our fellowship has enabled me to launch mobile museum projects under the blanket title of Mirage Architecture”
“Here, each artists will be able to implement ideas and make unrealized dreams come true. During the summer navigation season the structures move from Europe to the Antarctic, where they change their appearance like a Fata Morgana and enable travelers, researchers, and tourists to come into contact with the works of art”.
Here is the video, which I haven’t been able to embed onto the blog; it is worth a watch!
In the course of his last voyage to the Arctic, when the artist observed and photographed mirages, he was invested with an idea of a project of two museums of modern art in Antarctic. One of them would be dedicated to Ponomarev and would gather his oeuvres. Each museum would be a floating exhibition space below water level with facades made of ice, water and steam. The museums would be able to come to the surface and sink again like some submobiles. In order to see the exposition it is necessary to submerge to the depth in a bathyscaphe. The possibility of transformation and disappearance of the edifice after submerging underwater allows speaking of the unfathomable “architecture of mirages”. The museums are designed for the Polar Regions, yet they can be installed wherever there is water.