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Tadashi Kawamata: Work in Progress in Zug

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Edited by Matthias Haldemann. Hatje Cantz, 2000. 176pp. £35. (Distributed by Art Books International 020 7720 1503)

When the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens was closed for John Miller & Partners' renovation, Tadashi Kawamata built a haphazard wooden surrogate beside it (AJ 28.8.97), writes Andrew Mead .

Such improvised timber structures, usually colonising buildings inside or out rather than replicating them, are his hallmark - often visually striking, chaotic and rich in metaphor for critics.

In a continuing project for the Kunsthaus in the Swiss lakeside town of Zug, which Kawamata began in 1996, his work escapes architectural confines and heads out into the landscape, with much more concern for function than usual. A meandering raised timber walkway through Zug from the Kunsthaus to the lake, some amphitheatrical seating, a rough-and-ready wall, a look-out platform by the water - all these elements, adding definition and utility, are as if in quotation marks, not absorbed into the landscape but superimposed on it. From accounts in this book, though, Zug's residents - consulted throughout - are pretty positive. 'Sure, we all know that little alleyway, the passage leading to the lake, we've known it all our lives. But no one has ever made it so conscious, 'says one. The whole project is beautifully presented here, especially in photographs by Guido Baselgia.

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