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L'air pour l'air

  • L'air pour l'air
  • L'air pour l'air
  • L'air pour l'air
  • L'air pour l'air
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Architects SO–IL and artist Ana Prvački have recently created a poetic collaboration for Garfield Park Conservatory called L’air pour l’air. The project aims to ensure the legacy of street musicians as our cities’ atmospheres become increasingly polluted.

Inspired by the abundant plant life in the Garfield Park Conservatory, SO – IL and Ana Prvački created an ensemble of air-filtering PVC mesh enclosures, designed to purify the air through the simple act of breathing. They are worn during a musical performance, as a reminder of street musicians.

The performance debuts with a composition by Veronika Krausas that involves vocals and three wind instruments. It is performed by a quartet of musicians from Chicago Sinfonietta, an orchestra that is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in classical music. The Sinfonietta musicians play, and their music fills the air - just as their breathing cleans it. SO-IL and Prvački’s installation ensures that we will always have street music, even in our smog-filled cities of the future. The more music played, the cleaner the air.

The installation and performance encourages its viewers to reflect upon complex notions such as the relationship between purity and pollution, and the distinctions between the self, the body, objects and nature. Each of the costumes is shaped to accommodate different musical instruments. The trombone player's has a low protrusion to make space for the long moving arm, while the flautist is given more horizontal space at head height.

Designers | SO-IL, New York, USA and Ana Prvački, San Francisco, USA

Location | Chicago Architecture Biennal, Chicago, USA

Technical Information | PVC mesh

Picture credits | Laurian Ghinitoiu