The Walls

The Walls: a system for a centre of conteporary art
case study: exhibition area at FF NORR

A centre for contemporary art is a space that often needs to accommodate a regular schedule of installations and exhibitions of great variety. Art centers are often housed in raw spaces that can facilitate different set ups, spaces that can easily change configuration. Each time exhibition walls are constructed according to the requirements. Sometimes materials are salvaged from show to show, to make the construction of these walls economical, even ecologically correct.
What if this potential for change was built-in the central idea of the exhibition space, and the art center was made entirely of exhibition walls, and what if these walls were light and movable, generic enough to fit any show, any space?
For the design of the exhibition space at Fargfabriken North / Östersund we devised a “universal exhibition wall”, a hollow wall proportioned as a computer screen, and sized according to standard wallboard material. The wall is 360x270 cm with a depth of 60 cm, of lightweight construction and with a set of sandbags placed inside to act as temporary foundation for each module. These walls become the curator’s new toys, they are re-usable and reconfigurable, and produce an exhibition space that always changes. Some of the walls are hung from the ceiling and used as projection screens. They appear to be levitating, or maybe to be stuck in mid-motion on their way to another position in the space. For the first exhibition, entitled “Teleporting Fargfabriken” we devised an additional “exposed concrete” wallpaper, a texture-map taken from computer games, and we use this on a number of walls to contrast the wooden interior of the Swedish vernacular space, to create a space that is texture mapped almost electronically, a virtual concrete labyrinth constantly under construction.

FF Norr is located in Ostersund, Sweden. Project director Jan Aman.
construction completed April 2008