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POST-OLYMPIC GAMES SHOW STIRS DEBATE

 

By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 14 AUGUST 2012 — What happens to an Olympic village when the crowds go home and the media lights go out? On the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics, Storefront for Art and Architecture, a New York nonprofit focused on the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design, presents The Post-Olympic City, an exhibition of works-in progress from The Olympic City Project by photographer Jon Pack and filmmaker Gary Hustwit. The exhibition pairs a selection of photos Pack and Hustwit have taken so far documenting sites of former host cities for the Olympic Games with archival images, research materials, video, and Olympic ephemera, exploring the life of the post-event city. 


Olympic Park, London
Photo: ©2012 The Olympic City Project

Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring. After the events are over, the medals have been handed out and the torch is extinguished, what's next? What happens to a city after the Olympics are gone?

The Olympic City is an ongoing project by Pack and Hustwit that looks at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world. Since 2008, Pack and Hustwit have sought out and photographed the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and ghosts of the Olympic spectacle. Thus far they've documented Athens, Barcelona, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Lake Placid, Rome, and Sarajevo, with plans to document Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, London, and other Olympic cities. The project will culminate with the publication of a limited-edition book of photographs in Spring 2013.


Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA), Athens
Photo: ©2012 The Olympic City Project

About the Artists

Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker based in New York and London. He worked with punk label SST Records in the late 1980s, and was subsequently involved in a wide range of projects in music and book publishing before he began producing documentaries in 2001. His films include the design documentaries Helvetica (2007), Objectified (2009), and Urbanized (2011).

Jon Pack is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose work has been exhibited in galleries in the US and Europe, and has appeared on book covers from publishers including Simon & Schuster and Random House. His previous projects include the limited-edition book Out There; That Thing We Call Nature.

Event: Debate

Storefront will host an event on 14 August 2012 from 7-9 PM, where the artists and invited panelists will debate the "after-match" of the Olympic games on host cities and their urban environments. The event is free and open to the public.

Other Debate Participants

Grace Tang is a landscape designer at James Corner Field Operations. She is currently the project manager for London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (South Park). The land which is currently the Olympic Games concourse is being transformed into a 21st century Pleasure Garden, designed as a cultural destination for both tourists and local residents.

Ellen Dunham-Jones is an architect, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an authority on suburban redevelopment. She is co-author with June Williamson of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, (Wiley; 2009, 2011) which has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, TED, PBS, NPR and other prominent venues. She serves as Chair of the board of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Noah Chasin teaches the history of modern and contemporary architecture and urban design at Bard College and at Columbia University.

Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
Tel: (1) 212 431 57 95
www.storefrontnews.org

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