Publication

  • Oblique Time with Claude Parent
    Claude Parent, Mai Abu ElDahab, and Benjamin Seror
    Authors
    Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite, 2017
  • GRANTEE
    Mai Abu ElDahab & Benjamin Seror
    GRANT YEAR
    2016

Claude Parent, view of his apartment, 1973, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Courtesy of Naad Parent.

Through an extended interview with radical French architect Claude Parent (1923–2016), the project explores the potential and use of the concept of the "function oblique" that Parent developed with philosopher and urbanist Paul Virilio in the 1960s. Defying convention, their idea proposes buildings incorporate ramps and slopes, avoid right angles, and be wall-free where possible. Tracing his early years as an architect, Parent describes his accidental venture into architecture, his time at Le Corbusier's studio, and the eventual development of the oblique, up until his latest experiments. Often associated with utopian architects, Parent's propositions were never abstract or metaphorical, but rather invented and made available tools to reconsider how we live in our environment; how we can transform how our bodies behave, how we use our senses, and how that can dramatically shift interpersonal dynamics and hierarchies.

Mai Abu ElDahab is a contemporary art curator from Cairo living in Brussels. In 2014, as cocurator of the 8th Liverpool Biennial, she worked closely with Parent on a new commission for the Tate Liverpool. From 2007 to 2012, she was director of Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp. She is the editor of several publications including Final Vocabulary (2015), After Berkeley (2012), From Berkeley to Berkeley (2011), Circular Facts (2011), and the record Behave Like an Audience (2013), all published by Sternberg Press. She is the director of Mophradat.

Benjamin Seror is a French artist living in Brussels. His novel Mime Radio was published by Sternberg Press in 2015. Recently, he has performed at REDCAT (Los Angeles), the Kunstverein and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the ICA (Philadelphia), and Witte De With (Rotterdam). In 2015, a solo exhibition of his work was presented at 221A (Vancouver). Also a musician, Seror is a member of the band Concert.