Simon Starling (born 1967 in Epsom, England; lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark).
An installation with three platinum prints, three lamps, and three stands with bag weights. It references Lily Reich’s exhibition design for Barcelona Pavilion from 1929. It includes platinum metals used in the photo printing process between the 1860s and the 1920s. The photos are copies of an image of Reich’s designs in 1929. They are lit by three spotlights powered from a portable fuel cell. The photos and the power source are separated by a smoked glass screen, also appropriated from Reich’s designs for the pavilion.
“Exposition, the project that Starling has designed specifically for the Espai 13 [at the Fundacíon Joan Miró in Barcelona], contrasts contemporary state-of-the-art technology with the evolution of the Modern Movement, taking as a reference point the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona, which was a real showcase of German design and technological advances of the period, with splendid displays created by Lilly Reich.
“The basis of Exposition is a precious metal, platinum, which has a dual presence in the Espai 13: in the photographs affixed to the wall—which show images of the designs created by Lilly Reich for the German engineering pavilion at the 1929 exhibition, obtained from platinum prints… and in the lighting for the photographs, using a fuel cell running on hydrogen, in which platinum is an essential element since it acts as a catalyst for the reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen that produces the energy.”
—Montse Badia, “Simon Starling: Exposition (ENG),” website of Montse Badia, April 2004.