Mar 4–Apr 4, 2021

Homo Urbanus

A Citymatographic Odyssey
Mariahilferstrasse 2, Graz 8020 Map
Tue–Sun 10 am–6 pm

The Graz film event – the Diagonale – Festival of Austrian Film – will be postponed this year to 8-13 June 2021. In anticipation of this event, the House of Architecture presents the exceptional works of Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, two of the foremost architectural artists and filmmakers of our time. The exhibition shows a selection of their most famous films. The most recent series is Homo Urbanus, which focuses on the relationship between people and cities in different parts of the world and will be shown in full length at the HDA: Homo Urbanus Bogotanus, Homo Urbanus Neapolitanus, Homo Urbanus Petroburgumus, Homo Urbanus Rabatius, Homo Urbanus Seoulianus and Homo Urbanus Tokyoitus.

Leading up to the exhibition, the HDA, together with Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine as well as the directors of the Diagonale, Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhuber, launched a film competition, looking for 1- to 3-minute short films telling everyday stories of Graz city life. A selection of the most interesting films will be shown at the exhibition. The authors of the selected projects will be announced at the opening.

The film programme will be complemented by semester projects by architecture students at Graz University of Technology, organised by the KOEN Institute. The 180 students in the "Beginners Workshop 2020" were given the task of shooting a short film of a maximum of three minutes in groups of three at a given location in the centre of Graz and capturing the architectural environment. Viewed one after another, the 60 short films make up a tour of Graz city centre.

On display will also be Bêka & Lemoine's most widely known productions, including Koolhaas Houselife, which was first shown at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008 and soon earned cult status. Other works in the exhibition are: Moriyama-San (architecture by Sanaa, Japan), The Infinite Happiness (architecture by BIG, Denmark), Barbicania (Brutalist Barbican Estate in London from the 1950s) and Spiriti (architecture by Rem Koolhaas, the Netherlands). This film series on well-known houses emphasises the presence of everyday life within some of the most iconic architectural projects of recent decades.

Bêka & Lemoine have stood out in the international architectural scene through their cinematographic work known for its innovative nature and its tender and characteristic humour, which has disrupted the usual representation of con­temporary architecture by putting people and uses at the forefront. A project which defies the question of genre by placing itself at the interface between documentary and video art through a singular and highly subjective style. Bêka & Lemoine’s authentic artistic perspective on architecture comes from their background in the two fields and opens new horizons to the relationship between architecture and cinema.

Their films have been widely presented at major biennales and international cultural events such as the Venice Architecture Biennale (2008, 2010, 2014), the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016, the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 and Performa 17 in New York, among many others. Their films are also frequently exhibited in some of the most prestigious museums and international cultural institutions all around the globe. Bêka & Lemoine’s films have also been selected and awarded by major film festivals such as CPH:DOX (Copenhagen), DocAviv (Tel Aviv), Chicago International Film Festival (Chicago) and Torino Film Festival (Turin).
The complete works of Bêka & Lemoine were acquired in 2016 by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York for its permanent collection.