artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon
 

artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon

a project by artists christoph meier, ute müller, robert schwarz and lukas stopczynski, the LAX bar is a walk-in art installation developed as a copy of the first american-style bar in vienna, designed by architect adolf loos in 1908. the bar’s walls, floors, ceilings, and fixed furniture are completely covered in white ceramic tiles, while a mirrored ceiling, complete with neon tubes, generates an infinite image of the space.

 artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neonimages by ute müller and elodie grethen

 

 

the LAX bar is the artists’ third edition of the legendary bar designed by adolf loos in 1908, with the first one created in 2015 in a garage in los angeles, and the second one in 2017 at etablissement d’en face in brussels. for the third edition, christoph meier, ute müller, robert schwarz, and lukas stopczynski took over the former schallplatten brigitte, which opened in 1959 and was one of the first record shops in vienna, transforming it into a walk-in social sculpture based on loos’s kärntner bar.

 

‘in 1908, adolf loos used the equilateral rectangle to highlight the orthogonal orientation of the interior of his so-called kärntner bar, the first american-style bar in vienna,’ explains curator and art historian vanessa joan müller as part of her writing on the LAX bar. ‘the mirrored walls conjure the illusion that the coffered marble ceiling and the marble pillars and beams continue endlessly, unfolding an illusionary space that, in its homage to the square, extends far beyond the 4.40 x 6 m real space. the seating niches and mahogany wall panelling contrast with the chessboard pattern of the floor and the transparency of the mirrors; small tables with opaque glass tops illuminated from below give the drinks an alluring glow.’ artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon

 

 

 

originally conceived as a stand-up bar, the loos bar, as it is called today, is an urban interior, a social space transgresssing class divisions and a condensed social stage,’ adds vanessa joan müller. ‘adolf loos believed that architecture goes beyond the functional to create resonating spaces for a liberal and democratic society. consequently, for him, the language of architecture articulates itself not only through an abstraction of means, but also through recourse to everyday typologies. things happen in places.’

 

 

as a copy of the loos bar, the LAX bar emphasizes the aspect of the social sculpture that turns viewers into actors, however, in contrast to the original, it acts as a walk-in installation with a makeshift character which only officially operates five times. its architecture has been reduced to its very essence, comprising a completely white, tiled room that could be anywhere in the world.

 artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon

 temporarily inserted in the empty viennese shop, the bar comprises a room placed into the existing space in accordance with the dimensions of the loos bar. ‘and on a twist that counteracts the elegance of loos’s style: in the place where the entrance to the original kärntner bar is located, visitors will find the way to the toilets, which are outside the bar,’ notes müller. ‘in order to enter the bar from the point corresponding to the original’s entrance, visitors must come from the toilet. the prosaic associations of the tile-grout interior (a sobering cell, psychiatric ward or butchery) also counteract the loos bar’s noble spirit of modernity. quite simply, the only luxurious element of the lax bar is time: after five weeks it’s all over.’  artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon  artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon  artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon  artist-designed LAX bar is built as a walk-in social sculpture of ceramic tiles, mirrors + neon

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: LAX bar

architect/artist: christoph meier, ute müller, robert schwarz, lukas stopczynski

material: ceramics, steel, glass, wood, plaster, plastic, concrete, electric, paint, ice, alcohol, sound

size: 750 x 525 x 263cm

performances: rosa anschütz, bachchorwien, marino formenti, in my talons, jung an tagen, natascha muhic, philipp quehenberger, die vorspielservice, bobby would and the hosts

commissioner: wiener festwochen

text: vanessa joan müller

location: schallplatten brigitte, laxenburger str. 4, 1100 wien, austria

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