Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Terence Gower’s Case Studies are a series of large installations about US embassy design during the Cold War. Baghdad Case Study (2012–14) is about Jose Luis Sert’s little-known masterpiece, the 1960 US embassy complex in Baghdad, Iraq, abandoned by the US in 1967. Havana Case Study (2016-17) tells the story of US-Cuba relations using Harrison-Abramovitz’ 1953 US embassy in Havana. Closed in early 1961 when the US and Cuba ceased diplomatic relations, the building went into service as a propaganda tool for both sides until diplomatic relations were restored in 2015. This talk will be the first presentation of the artist’s ongoing research for Saigon Case Study (2018) commissioned for this year’s Gwangju Biennial.
Gower often displays his research material as part of his installations, offering viewers some insight into the process that leads to the conception of his sculptures and videos. The artist’s main field of research has been in post-war architecture and urbanism in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, demonstrating how abstract architectural and sculptural forms come to represent the cultures and ideologies of their era. As Gower has observed of his work, “A desire to reexamine the notion of progress—a term corrupted by the excesses of technological modernism—runs through my practice.”
Terence Gower is a Canadian artist who lives and works in New York City and France. He typically works on a number of bodies of work concurrently in a variety of media, including video, sound, sculpture, drawing, and installation. He has shown his work at museums, galleries and public sites all over the Americas and Europe, and has a strong presence in Latin America. A number of books are available on the artist’s work, including Display Architecture: Terence Gower Pavilions (Navado Press, Berlin/Trieste), Ciudad Moderna: Terence Gower Videos (A&R/Turner, Mexico City) and the forthcoming, Form, Model, Syntax, Display: Terence Gower Sculpture Works. Gower has built several pavilions, most recently SuperPuesto for the Bronx Museum, New York, a temporary outdoor pavilion used for museum and community events. His work was shown recently at CAPC, Bordeaux; MACBA, Barcelona; Museo Tamayo and Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, Lyon; and Witte de With, Rotterdam, with an upcoming solo show at LABOR, Mexico City, the gallery that represents him. Gower is currently artist in residence at ParaSite, Hong Kong.
****No registration is required. All interested are welcome****