Le Salon is a collective which aims to bring broader cultural, social and political discussions to the discourse of architecture. The collective organised a series of talks in collaboration with Jose Maria Torres Nadal. These talks were then embodied into an exhibition within the UTS end of year exhibition.
In Autumn 2019, Le Salon was invited to host a talk series which introduced eight creatives from outside the bubble of architecture. These creatives included a poet, artist, director, photographer, dancer, collective and musicians. Many of these guests were not solely defined by these ‘creative’ titles, but were often multidisciplinary and had other professions and works that they stemmed from.
The idea for the talks originally arose from a frustration of being confined within the architecture bubble, as well as being tired and bored of the generic patriarchal and ego fuelled ways of practice which circulated the university and industry.
Turning to the creative community outside of architecture, the collective was seeking ideas which challenged and antagonised normative constructed ways of thinking. This space outside architecture felt not just freeing but also challenging and aggravating, they felt a new sense of fuel for curiosity and change.
Jose Maria Torres Nadal, an established academic and architect, gave the seriousness and realisation that these discussions and talks belong within architecture. The talks and exhibition aims to take performance, playfulness seriously.
The exhibition allowed Le Salon to spatialise the shared knowledge of the speakers whilst also introducing performative and interactive methods into the school of Architecture. It showcased seated sculpture, audio and visuals, in hopes of creating an immersive experience.
Each chair was built to embody the character and atmosphere of each guest and their talk.
The contemporary dancer helped us see the body through a new lens that did not seem normative.
The poet collective challenged classic poetry with humour which was not pretentious but relatable.
The director/photographer looked at challenging ideas of the fetishisation of asian culture through horror film tropes.
The artist made us question our ability to disassociate with animals and the world around us through the technique of experiencing a false reality but honest emotions.
The visiting speakers challenged our understanding of culture and teaching.
As guests entered the space they were asked to take a seat, listen, relax, feel and become.
“Becoming has to do with emptying out the self, opening it out to possible encounters with the ‘outside’.”
– Rosi Braidotti, ‘Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics’
Le Salon would like to thank all the speakers: Jose Maria Torres Nadal, Eliza Cooper, Hyun Lee, Rebecca Selleck, Dan Hogan, UTS Queer Collective, Nadine Marjan, Nasra Maina Doe and Sumayya Vally.
Le Salon would also like to acknowledge the talks and exhibition took place on stolen land of First Nations People – the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation who are the custodians of the land. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge this land was never ceded, sold, or given up. Always was and always will be Aboriginal land.