Four years from now, Frank Gehry’s 180-foot-tall Arts Resource Center, complete with towers of pixelated-looking steel (you know, so it’ll be recognizable as a Gehry original), is set to open on a 20-acre former train repair site in the South of France as the centerpiece of LUMA Arles, an art and culture campus founded by Swiss collector Maja Hoffmann. However, before the tower joins the existing landscape, patrons will be getting an unusual introduction to the prolific designer. Artists Philippe Parreno, Liam Gillick and other various artists — along with Serpentine Gallery co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist — are creating Solaris Chronicles, a dynamic show with dancing models acting as an homage to Gehry’s work, a definite departure from the standard presentations of architecture at an exhibition.
Selldorf Architects transformed a 43,000-square-foot garage into galleries of Gehry’s work, and once you enter the space, you’ll may see eight models of Gehry’s major works—the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Facebook’s West Campus Building, and a proposal for the National Art Museum of China, among others—engaged in a kind of ballet-type of dance. Wheels are attached to the tables where the models are installed and they move based on the rhythmic maneuvering of a few Arles-based human handlers, inspired by Tino Seghal, an artist celebrated for orchestrating “constructed situations”involving performers and unfold over time. The handlers movements are choreographed — both rehearsed and ad-libbed — to a score by French composer Pierre Boulez. At one time during a performance, the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Disney Concert Hall came rushing together, they stopped just short of colliding to twirl away in opposite directions, reminiscent of the Sharks-versus-Jets knife-fight scenes from “West Side Story.”