The work of Lauren Henkin, which spans photography, video and sculpture, questions the relations that may exist between extant, architectural forms and the natural or urban landscapes in which they sit. Concerned with notions of placement and scale, her photographic body of works recourses to crops and scale-plays to imbue each with human qualities. The site-specific sculptural installation imagined by Henkin for the Contemporary Arts Center, Props, gives life to Zaha Hadid’s concrete blocks and angular designs, adding, here a conundrum of pipes, there a set of ergonomic yet a-functional benches to rest on. By imagining these structures as addendums, Henkin gives precedence to that, which is typically considered peripheral: support, buttresses, sticks and trusses. Activating unutilized areas of the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center, such as an access ramp, the back alley of a lobby or the flank of a staircase, her interventions open broader conversations about provisional architectures within the museum context. Set in Hadid’s jewelbox, the props further the discussion initiated by the architect, deliberately blurring the boundary between the inside and outside of the building’s galleries and playfully disrupting the typical ballet of visitors’ circulation.
Steven Matijcio, Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, in collaboration with Lauren Henkin