Madeline Gins
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Madeline Gins, acclaimed American artist, architect, and poet, passed away on January 8, 2014. With her creative partner and husband, Japanese artist architect Arakawa, she spent the last five decades constructing literary, artistic and architectural works that explored the capacities of the body and its continuous struggle against death. She continued the practice for the three years that followed Arakawa's death in 2010 and their legacy will be carried forward by the Reversible Destiny Foundation.

Her writings have been described by the Art critic and philosopher, Arthur Danto as "like Einstein as adapted for Wittgenstein by Gertrude Stein." Gins studied physics and Oriental philosophy at Barnard College and graduated in 1962. Her first book, the experimental novel, Word Rain or a Discursive Introduction to the Intimate Philosophical Investigations of G,R,E,T,A, G,A,R,B,O, It Says (Grossman Publishers), was published in 1969. This was followed by, What The President Will Say and Do!! (Station Hill, 1984), an excursion into identity, language and free speech using the devices of political rhetoric. John Cage has said of the book that, "any man, woman, or child who intends to lead itself into presidency should get a copy, reading it before taking any further steps." In 1994, her book, Helen Keller or Arakawa, an art-historical novel that ushered in a new form of speculative fiction was published by Burning Books.

In 1963, Gins began collaborating with Arakawa on the research project The Mechanism of Meaning. The architectural projects that stem from it, formed the basis of the 1997 Arakawa + Gins: Reversible Destiny art exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo. In 1987, they founded the Architectural Body Research Foundation (formerly Containers of Mind Foundation), now called the Reversible Destiny Foundation. They co-authored several exhibition volumes and books, including, Architectural Body (University of Alabama Press, 2002), and, Making Dying Illegal (New York: Roof Books, 2006).

In its architectural production, the Reversible Destiny Foundation incorporates a wide-range of disciplines including, experimental biology, neuroscience, quantum physics, experimental phenomenology, and medicine. The Ubiquitous Site*Nagi's Ryoanji* Architectural Body (1992-4; Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan) is a monumental art-piece materializing the Foundation's research. Site of Reversible Destiny-Yoro Park (1993-5; Gifu Prefecture, Japan) is a large-scale park incorporating numerous biotopological apparatuses. The Bioscleave House (2007; East Hampton, NY USA) is a single-family residence entirely dedicated to the practice of "non-dying." The Reversible Destiny Lofts–Mitaka (In Memory of Helen Keller) (2005; Mitaka Japan) is a multiple-family residential complex that was the object of the 2010 Japanese documentary, Children Who Won't Die (Nobu Yamaoka)

The Reversible Destiny Foundation recently completed the Biotopological Scale-Juggling Escalator, a monumental stucture challenging the body's sense of scale, for Dover Street Market in New York (December 2013).

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
January 24, 2014
Dear Stephen,

Your sister, my boss and mentor, but most importantly my friend, was one of the finest people I've ever had the true privilege to know. She is missed. Molly McMahon
Molly McMahon
January 24, 2014
My condolences Stephen.

She was one of the finest people I've ever known.
Molly McMahon
January 24, 2014
Exactly construct.

xo Molly
January 18, 2014
I only met Madeline once, when she introduced Arakawa to her parents' group of friends in Island Park, NY. I am 14 years younger than Madeline, so I was maybe 8 or 9 years old at the time, but I do remember she made quite a sensation at the time. And it seems she kept on doing that her whole life, though it seems she did not succeed in her quest for immortality. My condolences to those whom she left behind.
Elad (Lloyd) Lending
January 14, 2014
Steve, please accept my condolences on the loss of sweet madeline. The news brought tears to my eyes. Micheal Glicksman
January 13, 2014
Maddie Gins' parents were part of a group of friends that included my inlaws. A fortunate coincidence for me in the 70s when I was studying with Xenakis and found great joy learning about the artistic creations of Arakawa and Madeline. Seems like there was a big price on this plane that went with the big ideas and adventurous art. Sorry she is gone. Her innovative spirit must be enriching the vast beyond where we are all headed.
Charles Hardy
January 12, 2014
Dear Stephen Gins,
I was very fortunate to visit both Nagi's Ryoanji and Yoro Koen several times. They both offered such a profound perspective as if they were designed especially for me. I spent months discussing The Mechanism of Meaning with a student determined to glean each nuance. What a work-out. Before I returned from Japan, I had to make one last pilgrimage to Yoro. I will always be grateful to Ms. Gins. May peace be with you, sir.
Gina Orr
January 12, 2014
Madeline Gins or Duchamp?
Such random stoppages

To not to die today
as oracle of Procedural Architecture
and dear, too seldom seen friend

I'll miss you,
Shaughan Lavine
January 12, 2014
Dear Stephen Gins,

I met Madeline years ago at a conference in Paris, a meeting preceded by the shock and joy of reading her "transbiography" Helen Keller or Arakawa (which I then endeavored to translate into (blind) French). Her sweet & strong & soft voice still resonates via Skype and telephone lines. It won't die.
With sadness and a sense of unfinished lines, I address you my condolences.
Marie-Dominique Garnier
January 11, 2014
Madeline, Im so glad we got to share sushi before this. Your spirit was inspirational. I will miss you, and you may miss my exactitude. I hope you are continuing somewhere. helen
January 11, 2014
Dear Stephen: please accept my condolences for the loss of your brilliant and creative sister. I have many fine memories of working with her and Arakawa for over ten years, and she left the world much richer for her poetic, artistic, philosophical and architectural instigations. Please be well, and know she led a good, full life. Best wishes.......
Martin E. Rosenberg
January 10, 2014
I am so shocked. I saw Madeline at the end of November. I was going to email her because I hadn't seen her over the holidays, because I was sick. We had just begun what I thought would be a close friendship. 'Bye, Madeline, from your neighbors Jane and Michael Usyk.
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