Comfortably Strange, Rotterdam

'Comfortably Strange' was a site-specific project with more than one life, housed inside of what was, at the time, called the Netherlands Architecture Institute–which is today called The New Institute. It was an installation and exhibition, embracing the notion of ’interiority’, defines as: ‘A term we can use to express architecture's ability to give a sense of space that rules out an exterior.’ The installation, in some ways, functioned as a sort of  stage set to showcase repetition, difference, raw possibilities, honest truths, and stripped representations–as expressed through what was titled ‘happenings’, consisting of a whole program of events as music performances and dance movements. The stage set was composed a an amorphously shaped black volume, with two staircases at each end that could be used to traverse a continuous circuit up, over, and back down to the ground. At the top of the stairs was a sort of bridge, with glass panes on both sides that allows for views over the main exhibition hall–a vast, multi-heighten space–that the installation was housed within. The exhibition was able absorb new stories, and was activated by its participation with the visitors, who created their own narrative experiences. Each month of the project's life was devoted to one of four chapters: 'Dreamlike Condition', 'Sterile Luxury', 'Destroy to Amuse', and 'Feast for the Mind'. The inner and outer surfaces of the project's skin never touched, and each was unique in character. As a mirror confronting its spectators, it was meant to be experienced, and received its meaning through its visitors. It was project in which visitors were meant to have felt a certain resistance to the idea of easy comfort, luxury, and happiness. 

Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam
the Netherlands
January 18-May 6, 2008