Haus Wittgenstein

Haus Wittgenstein
June 27, 2018 João Louro

Haus Wittgenstein

06.11.18|25.02.19

MAAT, Lisboa

Curated by Nuno Crespo

Vito Acconci, Michael Asher, Mel Bochner, João Luís Carrilho da Graça, Nuno Cera, Paul Engelmann, Ângela Ferreira, Margarida Grácio Nunes & Fernando Salvador Jasper Johns, Joseph Kosuth, Adolf Loos, João Louro, Rita Macbride, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Paiva & Gusmão, Paulo Mendes & Atelier de Santos, Julião Sarmento, Gregor Schneider, Lawrence Weiner, Erwin Wurn, among others.

The motto for this exhibition is the 90th anniversary of the completion of house Wittgenstein in Vienna. Designed from 1926 onwards and completed in 1928, this house has an intense story that crosses art, architecture and philosophy. This intersection occurs not only because Wittgenstein was the architect, but also because of the history of its design,construction and dwelling. These different phases brought up a large number of strains that underscore how a creative process happens in art and architecture.
Besides the dramatic philosophical context of Haus Wittgenstein — it marks the troubled return from L.W. to philosophy and its abandonment of pure logic in favor of a confrontation with the world and everyday affairs: the recounting of the day-to-day life and the quest of the ordinary changed into aesthetic categories that had many repercussions in contemporary art and photography — the very architecture embodied in Kundmanngasse is a subject of intense debate: the themes developed by the design, its details, the construction’s obsession with symmetry and rigor gave rise to countless stories that turned this house into a case study.
To assess this case study we follow three directions: first, due to the absence of rigorous technical drawings, models and reliable representations, it is important to understand how the house was designed and built: forms, materials, colors; second, evaluate the impact that this house has had in the imagination of artists and architects; and finally, the reflection on this house implies rethinking the relationship between thinking and doing, designing and building. This exhibition tries to recount and explore what happens in the hiatus between these two layers of every project.
In addition to understanding the specificity of the architectural object built by Wittgenstein, including mistakes and the plastic and rhetorical fictions produced within that space, and the object’s place in the Viennese architectural modernism, the exhibition also aims to assess the architectural value of Haus Wittgenstein. If it is in straight and quick dialog with the principles and aesthetics of Loos, or if represents a unique and autonomous architectural thinking, thus questioning why is this house one of the most famous houses in the world.
Exploring architecture as an artistic text, and philosophy as an artistic theme, the exhibition will question the importance of the work in the architectural and artistic history. Through existing pieces and new commissions by contemporary artists, the show will also survey how the Wittgenstein House retains a strong influence and impact in the fields of philosophy, art and architecture.