Kasper Akhøj (born 1976 in Copenhagen, Denmark; lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark).
Silver gelatin prints.
“In Welcome (to the Teknival), Kasper Akhøj examines the process of restoration which is currently taking place at Eileen Gray’s Villa E.1027 in Roquebrune, Cap Martin. Taking as a starting point the series of images that Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici (her collaborator on the house) published for the first time in 1929 in a special issue of the architectural journal L’Architecture Vivante, Akhøj has produced a series of 31 photographs that re-position these first images in time.
“The classical approach to restoring a historical monument is to bring it back to its original state. In this case, however, the final version of the house will also contain five of the nine murals that Le Corbusier painted, without the permission of Eileen Gray, on the walls of the villa in the late 1930’s. These murals play an important role as reference to the convoluted history of this site, and without their presence the house might not still exist.”
—Press release, “Welcome (to the Teknival), Ellen de Bruijne Projects website.
“In Welcome (to the Teknival), an ongoing work since 2008, the authority of historiography is addressed. At the center of the project is the Villa E.1027 in Southern France, designed by modernist architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray, which is currently undergoing restoration. Based on the history of the building, which among other things contains a series of wall paintings by the famous architect Le Corbusier created against the will of the building’s architect, the decisions about what is considered worth keeping or what is original are debated. Akhøj regularly documents the progress of the site in order to record the historical layers of the building, which are simultaneously reconstructed and destroyed. The title of the work refers to two pieces of graffiti in the house that stand beside each other, yet originate from different time periods, one of them half erased by a layer of black paint.”
—Press release, “Welcome (to the Teknival),” Künstlerhaus Stuttgart website.