447.1 15 rooms

15 Rooms
Curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, China
Exhibition 25 September – 8 November 2015

“15 Rooms” is taking place in the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai. Now, in 2015, there will be 15 rooms for 15 artists to present live performances for small groups of people. This spectacular artistic project, already organized in various cities, will continue to take place in the coming years. Last year there were 14 rooms, this year there will be 15 and next year 16. The overall temporary installation of the rooms is variable but the basic properties of each one are always the same: a floor area of 5m x 5m, a height of 3.5m, a door and no windows.

Earlier on, the rooms were laid out like scattered or compact settlements with lanes and plazas in between. As in our first contribution for 14 Rooms, we opted for a stringent, linear arrangement of two parallel façades, painted white, each with a series of doors. The central structure wall of the Long Museum is encased with mirrors and optically vanishes into the overall installation, while two mirrored walls placed at the two narrow ends optically extend the white façades and the doors to infinity. Instead of 15 doors, there seem to be twice, three or four times as many. Fifteen is a chance number; it will be 16 in 2016 and possibly 100 in the year 2100.

The location and the city where this exhibition takes place are not relevant in this temporary installation; the white walls and doors could be anywhere – unlike the HERE and NOW of the encounter between artworks and visitors.
The temporary installation is therefore an extreme abstraction, almost like a typological sculpture – a lane as broad as a plaza, typical of a small town in South America or China or Europe. Only the wooden handles used by visitors to enter the room vary slightly from door to door – 15 different handles, digitally cut out of wood, minimally distinguishable at first sight but each somewhat different in feeling.

The specificity of the location is not perceived unless visitors look up at the ceiling where the Long Museums’s characteristic concrete vault structure reveals itself.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2015


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Andreas Fries (Partner in Charge)
Project Team: Liliana Amorim Rocha (Project Manager), Alessia Catellani, Francisca Soares de Moura

Design Consultant: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
Executive Architect: Playze Shangai, Shangai, China
Executive Consultant: Marc Bättig Management GmbH, Basel, Switzerland

General Contractor: Shanghai Tongji Construction Co.,Ltd. , Shanghai, China
Door knobs: Ganter Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China

Building Data:
Site Area: 33'691sqft / 3'130m²
Footprint: 9'209sqft / 856 m²
Length: 108ft / 33m
Width: 108ft / 33 m
Height: 30ft / 9m

Use / Function:
For '15 Rooms' curators Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist will invite international artists to each activate a room, exploring the relationship between space, time and physicality with an artwork whose 'material' is the human being. Giving visitors an insight into a more performative and interactive practice, visitors will encounter a new situation within each of the 15 rooms, engaging in a diverse series of immersive and intimate experiences.