[Architecture on the move]
FA Platform Creatives Workshop
DIEGO SOLOGUREN / BRAD DOWNEY
28th September / 2 October 2020 h. 09.00 – 16.30
@POLIS University, live on the dedicated GClassroom
Diego Sologuren (1985) studied Architecture at the ETS of architecture in San Sebastián and later in Sint-Lucas Brussels, where he was involved in a Master Program in urban studies. Since his graduation with a project thesis of a theatre school in Denmark, he has developed his career in several countries around Europe. In 2014 he joined the office of African architect Francis Kéré and had the opportunity to come in touch with a reality which influenced his way of conceiving architecture and design: honesty, economy of means, and formal simplicity. In 2017, he took part in the exhibition of the first Biennale of Architecture of the Basque Country as one of the finalists for the Young Architect Prize. Based in Switzerland, he develops his own experimental praxis, which is committed to taking architecture to its conceptual boundaries with other disciplines.
Portrait Image by Fariba de Francesco
Brad Downey earned a fine art master’s degree in painting and sculpture from the Slade School of Art, where he studied under Bruce McLean. He grew up in a United States Marine Corps family. Pratt Institute drew him to New York City in 1998.
His first feature-length film, Public Discourse, a documentary about street art, was screened throughout the world, including at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival. The film shows work by street artists such as Swoon, Obey Giant, Revs, Nato, Desa, Ellen Harvey, JJ Veronis, and Johnny Swing from the Rivington School, and features music by Japanther. Public Discourse was distributed by Video Data Bank.
He has exhibited in venues such as the Tate Modern, the ICA in London,and Mass MOCA in the USA, Peacock Visual Arts, in Scotland, Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche in Osnabrück, Kunstcentret Silkeborg Bad, in Denmark.
In 2007 Downey was awarded SEEDA Arts Plus award for a commission with the Tour de France.
In 2008, Downey sprayed green paint on the shopping windows of Berlins historical KaDeWe mall, which the owners reported to the police as an act of vandalism. However, Downey had been contracted by the Lacoste clothing brand (along with 11 other street artists) for an exhibition at KaDeWe celebrating the 75th anniversary of the brand, and he maintained that he was just fulfilling his contract. Die Tageszeitung speculated that the incident might have been a media stunt by Lacoste. After the action Lacoste kicked Brad out of the exhibition and never paid him.
In 2019, Downey orchestrated the creation of the first public sculpture of Melania Trump, the wife of the 45th American president Donald Trump, in her home country, Slovenia to show his support for the Trump family. The sculpture, which was actually designed and created by a local artisanal artist with a chainsaw, was received with mixed reactions, due in part to Downey having done no physical work on it. The statue stands in Rožno near Trump’s home town of Sevnica.
The sculpture of the First Lady is reported to have been set on fire near her hometown in Slovenia, prompting its removal. In relation to the destruction of the piece, Downey explained that he did not like that BLM activists were tearing down statues of racists and that his statue accomplished what BLM activists hoped to in a better way. Downey filed a police report to try to catch the people involved.