The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Presents Countryside, The Future, an AMO / Rem Koolhaas Exhibition Opening February 2020

Exhibition to Examine Radical Changes Transforming the Surface of the World beyond Cities

From February 20 through summer 2020 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present Countryside, The Future, an exhibition addressing urgent environmental, political, and socioeconomic issues through the lens of architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas and AMO, the think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). A unique exhibition for the Guggenheim rotunda, Countryside, The Future will explore radical changes in the vast nonurban areas of Earth with an immersive installation premised on original research. The project extends investigative work already underway by AMO, Koolhaas, and students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Wageningen University, Netherlands; and the University of Nairobi.

Rem Koolhaas; Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Samir Bantal, Director of AMO.
Photo: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2019.

In the past decades, I have noticed that while much of our energies and intelligence have been focused on the urban areas of the world—under the influence of global warming, the market economy, American tech companies, African and European initiatives, Chinese politics, and other forces—the countryside has changed almost beyond recognition,” stated Koolhaas. “The story of this transformation is largely untold, and it is particularly meaningful for AMO to present it in one of the world’s great museums in one of the world’s densest cities.

RIGIDITY ENABLES FRIVOLITY
The frivolity of urban life has necessitated the organization, abstraction, and automation of the countryside at a vast and unprecedented scale.
Left: Mishka Henner, Feedlots, 2013. Right: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, 2018. Photo: Luca Locatelli

Rem Koolhaas (b. 1944, Rotterdam) founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and in 1978 published Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. His 1995 book S,M,L,XL, summarizes the work of OMA in “a novel about architecture.” In 2001 Koolhaas published with his students two volumes of the Harvard Project on the CityThe Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping and Great Leap Forward, and in 2011 Project Japan: Metabolism Talks looked back at the Metabolism movement. His built work includes the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015), Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015), the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing (2012), Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal (2005), Seattle Central Library (2004), and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin (2003). Koolhaas designed the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas, open from 2001 to 2008, and, in 1978, The Sparkling Metropolis, an exhibition on the top ramp of the rotunda of the Guggenheim in New York. Current projects include the Qatar Foundation headquarters, Qatar National Library, Taipei Performing Arts Center, a new building for Axel Springer in Berlin, and the Factory in Manchester. Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University and in 2014 was the director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, entitled Fundamentals.

NEW NATURE
Highly artificial and sterile environments are employed to create the ideal organic specimen. Today’s glass houses contain all the essential ingredients of life but none of the redundancies: sun, soil, and water are emulated, optimized, and finally automated. Photo: Pieternel van Velden
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