RAAAF's 'pretty vacant' transforms centraal museum in utrecht
RAAAF's 'pretty vacant' transforms centraal museum in utrecht RAAAF's 'pretty vacant' transforms centraal museum in utrecht
may 29, 2013

RAAAF's 'pretty vacant' transforms centraal museum in utrecht

 RAAAF’s ‘pretty vacant’ transforms centraal museum in utrechtall images by rob’t hart, courtesy of rietveld landscape




amsterdam-based firm RAAAF reinterprets the medieval chapel window with a smattering of geometries in blue foam for the installation ‘pretty vacant’ at the centraal museum in utrecht. the intervention is composed of remnant pieces of cut-out stock material from ‘vacant nl‘, the firm’s installation for the 2010 venice architecture biennale– itself a comment on the profuse existence of available space in the netherlands. the floor-to-ceiling work occupies the height of a former monastery with a composition of negative spaces that both reference the shapely complexities of stained glass windows and rupture the passage of light through the space.


in a direct inversion of the installation that produced that cut out panels, the vertical assembly obscures visual and physical access to the rest of the chapel. the material creates a gradient a geometric screen of the flattened and deconstructed forms of the dutch built landscape, and then allows light to filter through the architectonic apertures of the window thereby altering the atmosphere. the work challenges the viewer’s comprehension of contextual space by becoming self referential as well as pointedly inserting itself in the chapel in a monumental way.


a new window of blue foam cut-outs in the shape of underutilized dutch buildings spans the nicolaaskerkhof chapel


light transforms the space as filters through the reinterpreted landscape

‘pretty vacant’ frames the hall in a way that forces the visitor to reinterpret the space in a monumental way


the viewer has the challenge of looking at the window, through it to the space beyond, or reinterpreting the flattened shapes of the architecture


the screen of negatives becomes self referential in the museum context


as an oil of dilapidated units, the excess components lose their graphic sensibility

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