Monument to the Right Angle

2010, MUHKA Antwerp

A series of 4 sculptures. Mixed media

The title Monument to the Right Angle, is borrowed from one of Braem's own titles. It is a piece that is process-oriented, produced from certain parameters deriving from Braem's work, and his connection to Le Corbusier. Braem was an apprentice to Le Corbusier, despite his disagreement with the master's socio-political convictions.

Each sculpture is a combination of an abstract, geometric structure and an organic, random form. The geometric structures were planted into wet plaster that was poured into dug-out shapes in the wet sand. This plaster cast process was practised by Le Corbusier. It can be seen as action-sculpture, a technique that most people would not associate with the rational work of Le Corbusier.

Marte Johnslien uses this technique in combination with Braem's work to highlight tensions between the two architects. And she anchors the idea in a specific piece by Braem that was never built, the Monument to the right angle. The monument was supposed to be part of the cultural centre of la Cité Modèle, and the idea of it was among other things to 'express the fact that man, surrounded by nature, will express his will for domination through the sign of the right angle..' (Braem)

Photo: Marte Johnslien. All text and image © Marte Johnslien