You are in Shows > Unbuilt Roads: Presented by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Untitled (fragment), 1996
Courtesy of Carsten Höller and e-flux
Unbuilt Roads is the first in a new series of exhibitions at e-flux project space at 41 Essex Street, lower level. The space is open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 12pm to 6pm.
Unlike unrealized architectural projects, which are frequently exhibited and circulated, unrealized artworks tend to remain unnoticed or little known. But perhaps there is another form of artistic agency in the partial expression, the incomplete idea, the projection of a mere intention? Starting on Saturday, April 11th, the book project Unbuilt Roads: 107 Unrealized Projects will be presented as a public archive at e-flux. Bringing together descriptions of unrealized projects by 107 artists, the selection constitutes the result of several years of international research conducted in the late 90s by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Guy Tortosa.
Though the state of being unrealized implies the potential for realization, not all of the 107 projects were meant be carried out. Certain works have deliberately been left undone by the artists, although they have "failed" in very interesting ways. Other planned projects involve consciously utopian, non-utilitarian, and conceptual spaces that were not made available for realization. Whether censored, forgotten, postponed, impossible, or rejected, these unrealized projects form a unique testament to the speculative power of non-action. As Joel Fisher suggested in his essay "The Success of Failure," "The failures of big ideas are sometimes more impressive than the successes of little ones."(read less)