Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
In the fall of 2000 Manglano-Ovalle turned his camera to Mies van der Rohe's last great building for the creation of Alltagszeit (In Ordinary Time). In this new video work, Mies's Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin becomes the breathtaking backdrop for an elegant choreography of portraits staged in the building's magnificent glass-walled entrance hall. A monumental clear-span building, the Neue Nationalgalerie is marked by a massive square roof structure poised on eight perimeter steel support columns. Designed and built between 1962 and 1968, the austere Neue Nationalgalerie is perhaps one of Mies's most classical buildings and is the realization of his concept of a universal architectural space—a space that both fulfills the client's needs and allows for individual freedom of organization within that space. Built to house a collection of twentieth-century art, the Neue Nationalgalerie is situated in Berlin's cultural center at Kemperplatz, a site that also includes the seventeenth-century St. Matthew's Church, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Chamber Music Hall and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Today, almost three years after his first engagement with Mies van der Rohe, Manglano-Ovalle has begun to look beyond the great architect. His intimate interaction with Mies's landmark buildings over the past several years has produced a seductive and provocative body of video works that conduct an ongoing discourse about the ideals, failures and contradictions of Modernism and an exquisite tension between homage and critique. As subjects in Manglano-Ovalle's ongoing political observations and social criticisms, Mies's iconic spaces become invested with evocative new meanings, revealing themselves to be the universal and socially-engaged sites Mies always hoped they could be.
Irene Hofmann, Curator of Contemporary Art, Orange County Museum of Art