“Projecting Modern” in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House

By Venus Zarris

Photo Essay by Debbie Dodge & Venus Zarris

A century after its completion, The Robie House still stands as perhaps the greatest example of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style design. When it was created, between 1908 and 1910, Wright was projecting modern; shaping a future vision of the American landscape.

On October 23, 2010, Luftwerk (the artistic collaborative team of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero) presented their contemporary visual conversation with and inside of Wright’s classic design. Projecting Modern, a site-specific instillation, projected beautiful images and morphing structural configurations on the very walls and ceilings of Wright’s Robie House. More than just a ‘Happy Birthday’ to this singular landmark, Projecting Modernwas part homage to Wright, part timeless conceptual dialogue with Wright, part organic extension of Wright’s natural and linear influence and a perfect compliment to this house of pattern and light.

Truly an exceptional highlight of the Chicago Artists Month, Luftwerk’s Projecting Modern proved to be an intimately breathtaking installation of video projection, light and sound in one of Chicago’s most scared artistic shrines. The American Institute of Architects recognized Frank Lloyd Wright as “the greatest American architect of all time.” His presence is felt throughout the city, country and the world. His inspiration, as is evident by the hauntingly evocative creation of the brilliantly talented Luftwerk, continues to project modern into the new millennium.

Under a full moon and in the midst of the gothic surroundings of Rockefeller Chapel and the University of Chicago’s sprawling campus, Luftwerk (in collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust) delivered a once in a lifetime evening of expansive ideas, ingeniously and seamlessly executed in an elegantly extraordinary location.

Projecting Modern illustrated the fact that art is a time machine that continues to inform, inspire and arouse itself.


Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust – Frederick C. Robie House

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