Eternal Gradient: Arakawa and Madeline Gins

Tracing the emergence of architecture as a wellspring of creativity and theoretical exploration for the artist Arakawa (1936–2010) and poet and philosopher Madeline Gins (1941–2014), this exhibition features over 40 drawings and other archival materials that illuminate a pivotal moment within a practice that spanned nearly five decades of collaboration.

In the early 1960s, Arakawa and Gins began a remarkably original and prolific partnership that encompassed painting, installations, poetry, literature, architecture, urbanism, philosophy, and scientific research. Complementing their independent artistic and literary practices, their collaborative work launched with visual, semiotic, and tactile experiments that questioned the limits and possibilities of human perception and consciousness. During the 1980s—a critical juncture in their careers—this line of inquiry became increasingly spatial as Arakawa and Gins together developed a series of speculative architectural projects that sought to challenge the bodily and psychological experience of users. Through these investigations, the artists began to articulate their concept of “Reversible Destiny,” arguing for the transformative capacity of architecture to empower humans to resist their own deaths. This exhibition uncovers a little-known body of this visionary work that anticipated the artists’ subsequent commitment to architecture and their realization of various “sites of Reversible Destiny,” in Japan and New York between 1994–2013.

7 February to 27 April 2019
Graham Foundation
Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place
60610 Chicago, IL
Columbia GSAPP
Graham Foundation