BOUDOIR CONVERSATIONS Review
A project curated by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado and Fru*Fru
17 April 2014
Between London, UK and Alicante, Spain
[caption id="attachment_3096" align="alignnone" width="360"] Eva Franch I Gilabert, Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York converses with Gonzalo Herrero-Delicado[/caption]
Boudoir Conversations is a documentary collection of virtual dialogues simultaneously developed in two domestic spaces in Spain and the UK, respectively curated by Fru*Fru and Gonzalo Herrero Delicado. These two spaces are defined by two common intimate bedroom elements: the boudoir and the bed that host public media displays for each volume of the series. Gonzalo opens up his bedroom in central London to run the in-bed conversations while Fru*Fru through their media boudoir in Alicante complete the project. These dialogues are focused on identity transformations due to massive pop phenomena such as the mediatisation, sexualisation, technologisation and corporatisation of households. The dialogue begins with the usual contradictions present in the domestic realm but then go on to build a new complex and fascinating reality. The first season of Boudoir Conversations has been created from five oxymorons that combine two apparently contradictory terms and produce radical new meanings. The oxymorons were discussed in the five broadcasted interviews together with a selection of different figures from contemporary architecture and art domains including Eva Franch, Nerea Calvillo, Beatrice Galilee, MISS [Vere van Gool and Mary Wang] and Carlos Jiménez.
[caption id="attachment_3095" align="alignnone" width="360"] Fru*Fru connects into the conversation with MISS from their media boudoir[/caption]
To date Boudoir Conversations has addressed the issues: affective corporatism (affection-related brands), artificial nature (artificial understood as new naturalness), media privacy (how private life becomes public through the media), the theory of enjoyment (from Eames to the Enjoyment manifesto) and the concept of the domestic diva (or how the home is built as a stage for everyday life). Each conversation is structured into three blocks, beginning with an introduction to the oxymoron of the day. This is followed by the introduction of the guest (block 1) and a short quiz related to the general topic of conversation (block 2). The quizzes work with an informal and funny questionnaire as an introduction to the core of the conversation. The last part of the conversation is an extensive interview about the professional work of each guest and their relationship to the oxymoron in question (block 3).
For the first Boudoir Conversations series, we invited six personalities linked to the London architecture scene. Each selected guest has a singular architectural practice related to one of the oxymoron themes that structured each conversation. Four women and one man shared their confidences from Gonzalo’s bed and through Fru*Fru’s boudoir. Eva Franch opened these bed-based conversations by talking about the affective corporatism from her experience as Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. The second session brought the opportunity to chat with Nerea Calvillo, director of the firm C+ arquitectos, about artificial nature from some of her most recent projects that visualise air pollution and pollen levels. Beatrice Galilee shared ways to enjoy working and how important it is for personal success on the same day that her appointment as Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was announced. The fourth guests were Mary Wang and Vere Van Gool who explained how privacy boundaries disappear through their work as MISS, a platform to celebrate femininity in architecture. Finally Carlos Jimenez, tutor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, discussed his creative process and how gender is not a handicap to become a domestic diva through wonderful performances.
[caption id="attachment_3094" align="alignnone" width="360"] Beatrice Galilee discusses the importance of enjoying what you do[/caption]
Boudoir Conversations has radically altered the traditional context and format of the lecture. Gone is the traditional academic setting of the lecture hall, and in its place guests are invited to hold a conversation from the host’s bed. By altering the context, the lecture or discussion becomes more intimate, playing with the voyeuristic instinct of the audience to enter into a person’s private space and then view how the altered setting affects the behaviour of those within it. That private space becomes public for any person who wants to attend the conversations live or watch it through an open streaming channel created for the occasion. Sharing both the bedroom and the host’s bed generates a tremendous intimacy between interviewer, interviewee and audience which creates a space to address more personal issues that otherwise would not be broached. Finally, Boudoir Conversations’ format is at once both physical and virtual, bringing together interviewer, interviewee and audience into the same virtual space regardless of their geographic distance.
[caption id="attachment_3093" align="alignnone" width="360"] The Boudoir Conversations dossier framing a conversation between Gonzalo and Nerea Calvillo[/caption]
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Since 2010 Rosana Galián and Paula Vilaplana are Fru*Fru, a team for enjoyable architecture and cultural upheaval. They have worked on several projects between Madrid, London, Murcia and Alicante, exploring domesticity, media formats and contemporary mass media languages. www.frustarfru.tumblr.com
Gonzalo Herrero Delicado is a London-based architect, curator and writer of contemporary architecture and design. He is currently curator at The Architecture Foundation running its public programme and is working on several personal projects including the upcoming exhibition of the artist Xavier Veilhan in Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona pavilion. www.gonzaloherrero.eu
The first edition of Boudoir Conversations was part of the project My House is Your Museum managed by José María Torres Nadal with the invaluable support of Rebeca Plaza, Marta Torres and José Rico.