New Museum Presents Cronocaos an Exhibition by OMA

New Museum Presents Cronocaos an Exhibition by OMA

The New Museum is pleased to present "Cronocaos," an exhibition about the increasingly urgent topic of preservation in architecture and urbanism, by OMA / Rem Koolhaas and organized by the New Museum. First presented at the 2010 Venice Biennale, at the invitation of Kazuyo Sejima, Commissioner, this exhibition will be a signature project for the Festival of Ideas for the New City, taking place in venues all across Downtown Manhattan from May 4 through 8, 2011. A first for New York, the Festival will harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore the ideas destined to shape it. The Festival is organized around three central programs: a three-day conference of symposia; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery; and over one hundred independent exhibitions, projects, and public events.

"Cronocaos" will open to the public on May 7 and remain on view through June 5. The exhibition will take place at the New Museum's 3,600-square- foot, partially renovated, ground-floor space at 231 Bowery.

"Cronocaos" examines the growing "empire" of preservation and analyzes the consequences of these regimes for how we build, rebuild, and how we remember. Twelve percent of the planet now falls under various systems of natural and cultural preservation. "Through our respect for the past, heritage is becoming more and more the dominant metaphor for our lives todaya situation we call Cronocaos," said Rem Koolhaas. "We are trying to find what the future of our memory will look like. Our obsession with heritage is creating an artificial re-engineered version of our memory." Lacking a set of coherent strategies or policies and generally not engaged by architects and designers, preservation is an under-examined topic, but increasingly relevant as we enter an age of "Cronocaos," in which the boundaries between preservation, construction, and demolition collapse, forever changing the course of linear evolution of time.

"Cronocaos" will include historic objects and photographs; analysis of the rapid growth of preserved urban and natural territories; and a timeline of OMA projects that have confronted the issue of preservation over thirty-five years of practice, including the 2001 proposed extension to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the curatorial master plan for The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Each project within the OMA timeline will take the form of a postcard for visitors to peel off the wall and take home. By the end of the exhibition, preservation and depletion will be evident in the exhibition itself. Reflecting the exhibition's themes, the former restaurant-supply space will be visually transformed into two very different areas: one side will remain "preserved" as it was while inhabited by the restaurant supply store; the other will be minimally renovated.

Visitors may purchase tickets to see "Cronocaos" at the Visitor Services desk at the New Museum, at 235 Bowery.

Related Program

Festival of Ideas for the New City: Conference Keynote address by Rem Koolhaas Wednesday, May 4, 7 p.m. $25; Tickets are currently on sale. A Festival of Ideas Symposia Pass is available for $65 guaranteeing your entry to all events occurring May 4-6. Visit for ticket information.

For the Festival of Ideas for the New City, a three-day conference of symposia, lectures, and workshops with visionaries and leadersincluding exemplary mayors from a variety of countries, forecasters, architects, artists, economists, and technology expertswill address the four broad Festival themes: The Heterogeneous City, The Networked City, The Reconfigured City, and The Sustainable City. These events will take place at The Cooper Union, New York University, and the New Museum from Wednesday to Saturday, May 4-7. For a full schedule of events visit

Co-founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Rem Koolhaas is one of the most influential architects and thinkers of the past two decades. Koolhaas is also the founder of AMO, a think tank focused on social, economic, and technological issues. He is a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the author of such landmark books as Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan and S, M, L, XL. He is Professor in Practice in Harvard's School of Design, Department of Architecture.

About OMA

OMA is a leading partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. OMA is led by seven partners-Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, and Managing Partner Victor van der Chijs-and sustains an international practice with offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, and Hong Kong. The counterpart to OMA's architectural practice is AMO, a design and research studio based in the company's Rotterdam office. While OMA remains dedicated to the realization of buildings and master plans, AMO operates in areas beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture, including media, politics, sociology, renewable energy, technology, fashion, curating, publishing, and graphic design.

OMA's recently completed projects include the Wyly Theatre in Dallas (with REX, 2010); Prada Transformer, a rotating multi-use pavilion in Seoul (2009); the Casa da Música concert hall in Porto (2005); the Prada Epicenter in Los Angeles (2004); the Seattle Central Library (2004); the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003); the IIT Campus Center in Chicago (2003); and the Prada Epicenter in New York (2001). OMA-designed buildings currently under construction include the new headquarters for China Central Televisiona tower reinvented as a loopin Beijing; the adjacent Television Cultural Centre; Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China's equivalent of the NASDAQ exchange for hi-tech industries; a new headquarters for Rothschild Bank in London; and De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands.

Responsible for projects in the Americas, OMA's New York office is currently overseeing the design for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in Canada and the construction of Milstein Hall, an extension to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University, scheduled for completion during the fall of this year.

About the New Museum

The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum was conceived as a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding, dedicated building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of ongoing experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.

About the Festival of Ideas for the New City

The Festival of Ideas for the New City, May 4-8, 2011, is a major new collaborative initiative in New York involving scores of Downtown organizations, from universities to arts institutions and community groups, working together to effect change. The Festival of Ideas for the New City was initially conceived by the New Museum three years ago as a natural outgrowth of its ongoing commitment to public education and civic outreach. A first for New York, the Festival will harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore the ideas destined to shape it. It will take place in multiple venues Downtown and is organized around three central programs: a three-day conference of symposia; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery; and over 100 independent projects and public events. The Festival will serve as a platform for artists, writers, architects, engineers, designers, urban farmers, planners, and thought leaders to exchange ideas, propose solutions, and invite the public to participate. For more information, visit