AD-WO: Preparatory work / Para Project: Camp for models

Annual freeze-thaw cycles on site Underlay push boulders and stones to the surface of the earth: animists reject the fences that divide our lives. Underlay it moves according to these shifts and rotations; suspended between the material stories embedded in the earth and the intangible practices inherited by generations of indigenous stewards. Earth care rituals make this place a home.

The installation consists of two interpenetrating solids. The somewhat irregular square consists of tightly packed local stone, the same stone used by the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican community to shape the mounds and walls into local ceremonial markers and landmarks. The second form is a shadow inscribed in a dark patch of flowers and grass. Over the course of a year, planting goes from dormant and invisible to vivid and engaging.

AD – WO is an art and architecture practice based in New York, and by extension, between Melbourne and Addis Ababa. The practice explores how space is imaged and valued through art, design and curatorial interventions. Founded in 2015 by Jen Wood and Emanuel Admassu, AD-WO has implemented projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Germany, Italy and the United States. Their work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2021), the Architekturmuseum der TU München (2018) and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2017). AD-WO’s work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the High Museum of Art (Atlanta).

Jon Lott / Couple Project: Camp for models
Camp for models is a combination of model-scale architecture and full-scale architecture. Taking its title from “bivouac” – a French term for a makeshift structure made of branches, leaves and ferns, often created by soldiers hiding from the elements overnight during prolonged battles – the building serves as a shelter for a small-scale model of a similar design by Jon Lott / Para project. Tucked away in a wooded section of the Art Omi site, the building’s placement mirrors the bivouac, a temporary structure just above the tree line from a cleared section of the forest.

This is a deliberate combination of architectures of different sizes in Camp for models highlights the scalar shifts that occur between different stages of the design process. With a model of an unrealized building, Camp for models it acts as a space where new ways of discourse and object creation are protected from the destructive forces of time and history where they would otherwise be lost.