Robbrecht en Daem was commissioned by Christiane Lange to design the exhibition of the furnishings and interior spaces that Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich had designed for Haus Lange, a building designed by Mies van der Rohe himself. The exhibition was held in the place where only recently this furniture was used on a daily basis. The house has since been converted into a museum and the architecture of Mies van der Rohe has become an object on display. This has altered the meaning of both the furniture and the architecture.
The scenography plays subtly with the confusion this has generated. Whereas in the previous scenographies Robbrecht en Daem’s interventions mainly create a mechanism of perception in which visual art can thrive, the architects and curator Christiane Lange here vigorously engage in a dialogue with the past and the building is involved in the exhibition apparatus. The architects and curator play on the distinction between everyday object, scenography and architecture. Mies van der Rohe’s building is now effectively an exhibition space, but then, as in the ladies’ salon, it is a setting against which the furniture is shown, and then again the architecture is part of the staged reconstruction. At the very moment that the painting by Wassily Kandinsky that was once owned by the family but is now consciously installed in the exhibition space, or when the original fixed wall unit is placed back in the ladies’ salon or Frauenzimmer after being reconstructed, the categories within which we view this exhibition shift subtly.
Robbrecht en Daem architecten
scenography for an exhibition on the furniture and architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich
Paul Robbrecht, Hilde Daem, Caroline Vanbiervliet, Johannes Robbrecht