Fifteen stones (Ryōan-ji). Spencer Finch

Fundació Mies van der Rohe  and Nordenhake Gallery present “Fifteen stones (Ryōan-ji)” by Spencer Finch.

The program of artistic interventions at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion generates hybridization between artistic disciplines, contributing to the dissemination of architectural culture, stimulating debate and critical reflection, and generating new views on the answers that architecture gives to the challenges that society faces.

Ryōan-ji, “The Temple of the Dragon at Peace”, is located in Kyoto and evokes its famous karesansui (zen garden), considered one of the masterpieces of Japanese culture. On a surface of white gravel of 25x10m, almost the same dimensions as the pond of the Pavilion, fifteen stones are arranged in such a way that it is not possible to see them at the same time, whatever the position of the observer. This abstract composition of stones in space that encourages meditation is open to interpretation, in the same way as Fifteen Stones. The proposal also refers to the links between the Modern Movement and specifically the work of Mies van der Rohe, and the Japanese precedent. Direct connections between the German architect’s way of thinking and working and the philosophical and conceptual basis of Japanese culture have seldom been proposed. This intervention allows us to reflect on the most lyrical aspects of the work of Mies van der Rohe and one of the most outstanding materials of the Pavilion, stone, in this case in its natural state and establishing a dialogue with the cut, polished and hung travertine that forms the walls, the pavement and the bench from which to observe the composition.

Spencer Finch produces work in a wide variety of mediums, including watercolor, photography, glass, electronics, video and fluorescent lights. He deals with the elusive concepts of memory and perception through light installations. Some of his most well-known works include The River That Flows Both Ways (New York High Line Park) and Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning (National September 11 Memorial & Museum).




26/09 - 07/10/2018


Fundació Mies van der Rohe


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Mies van der Rohe Pavilion