Cronocaos, OMA’s exhibition on the increasingly urgent topic of preservation in architecture and urbanism, opens today at the New Museum in New York. First shown at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, Cronocaos examines the growing “empire” of preservation and its consequences for the way we build, demolish, and remember.
Around 12 percent of the planet now falls under various regimes of natural and cultural preservation. “Through our respect for the past, heritage is becoming more and more the dominant metaphor for our lives today – a situation we call Cronocaos,” OMA founding partner Rem Koolhaas says. “We are trying to find what the future of our memory will look like.”
Cronocaos – featuring new material in its New York edition – included historical objects and unseen OMA archival material; an analysis of the rapid growth of preserved urban and natural territories; and a timeline of OMA projects that have confronted the issue of preservation over 35 years of practice, including the 2001 proposed extension to the Whitney Museum in New York and the curatorial masterplan for the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Each project within the OMA timeline will be a “postcard” for visitors to peel off the wall and take home.
The exhibition occurred in the New Museum’s new space, a former restaurant supply store next door to the main museum. Reflecting the exhibition’s themes, one side of the space will be preserved” as it was inhabited by the store; the other will be renovated into typical white cube museum space. Cronocaos will remain on view to June 5, 2011.