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Allard van Hoorn (with Hector Esrawe and Emiliano Godoy), Tlaloc Benches, Platform for Urban Investigation Mexico, 2007, ice, steel, blue paint, installation in Chimalhuacan, Mexico City

Allard van Hoorn, Matchmaker, 2008, performance in public space with Pantone® color chart

Allard van Hoorn, Matchmaker, 2008, performance in public space with Pantone® color chart

Allard van Hoorn, view of the Open Studio at Gasworks, 2009

Allard van Hoorn uses architecture, music, design, dance, sculpture, installation and writing to conduct his research into urban environments. Van Hoorn often works in collaboration with people from various disciplines. Through his interventions in public space, he investigates our understanding of the various urban terrains we pass through and inhabit.

In Matchmaker (2008), a project conducted in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil) and Shanghai (China), van Hoorn set himself the task of mapping the cities according to the logic of classification of the Pantone ® Matching System. Equipped with a camera and a Pantone ® guide, van Hoorn tried to translate his subjective experience in the city into a standardised code of classification commenting on our attempts to domesticate our environment and showing mapping as a way of exercising power over the landscape.

During his residency at Gasworks, van Hoorn developed Urban Songlines London an ongoing research project into the possibilities of mapping public urban spaces. Inspired by the aboriginal Australian tradition of songlines (an intricate series of song cycles that identify landmarks and subtle tracking mechanisms for navigation) van Hoorn created tonal topographies from existing spaces and structures within the local area. By transferring Australian aboriginal understanding of place to London's architecture and urban structures,  Urban Songlines London discussed the way we use and experience public spaces and to what degree we can claim ownership over them. 

Allard van Hoorn lives and works in Amsterdam. His work has been shown at institutions like the Stedelijk Museum CS in Amsterdam, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Brazil, The Moore Space in Miami, Museo de la Ciudad de México, the German Architectural Center (DAZ) in Berlin, CCCB in Barcelona and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.  He is also the founder of the Platform for Urban Investigation, a research facility investigating local urban environments around the world.


Allard van Hoorn's website