The New Museum presents “Cronocaos,” an exhibition about the increasingly urgent topic of preservation in architecture and urbanism. First presented at the 2010 Venice Biennale, the exhibition is part of the Festival of Ideas for the New City, taking place in venues all across Downtown Manhattan from May 4 through 8, 2011.
“Cronocaos” explores the concept of preservation and analyzes its consequences on how we build and remember. “Through our respect for the past, heritage is becoming more and more the dominant metaphor for our lives today—a situation we call Cronocaos,” said Rem Koolhaas. “We are trying to find what the future of our memory will look like. Our obsession with heritage is creating an artificial re-engineered version of our memory.” For architects and designers, preservation is an under-examined topic, yet of increasing importance in the conception of our civilisation, since a significant part of our planet is, by now, under natural or cultural preservation.
“Cronocaos” presents historic objects and photographs analysing preserved urban and natural territories along with relevant projects by OMA, including the proposed extension to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the curatorial master plan for The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
Reflecting the exhibition’s themes, the exhibition space, a former restaurant-supply space is be visually divided in two areas, a preserved and a partially renovated one.
“Cronocaos” opened to the public on May 7 and remains on view through June 5, 2011. The exhibition takes place at the New Museum’s 3,600-squarefoot, partially renovated, ground-floor space at 231 Bowery.